The Siemens Mobile Acceleration fund, Siemens latest foray into corporate venturing, was today launched in the UK.
The fund, which will invest in start-ups in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Italy, France, Israel and China, is valued at £14m and will look to make investments of around £1m in seed companies, taking a ‘substantial’ minority stake in return. “We are looking to invest in wireless companies before they enter the market, more at business proposals than actual operating companies,” explained the fund’s CEO, Dr Dietrich Ulmer.
The fund will look to make ten investments in the current year, adding to those it has made since the fund was launched in Germany last year. To date the firm, has invested in four companies in wireless firms in Europe, with a further deal ‘imminent’ in China.
Speaking at the fund’s UK launch, Ulmer explained that the fund was created to stimulate the mobile telecoms market, in addition to making a capital gain on investments. “We’re not a strategic partner as such, the objective of the fund is to make a profit. We will look to keep our investments in firms for about 2-3 years, after which we intend to sell to trade or VC buyers.”
Ulmer added that the timing of the fund would be useful in terms of getting access to the key business ideas. “At the moment, valuations are low and most corporates are not getting involved. We have already looked at over 800 proposals and in addition to the five deals we’re currently involved with, we have another ten or so hot deals in the pipeline.”