Triangle to raise fourth fund

The German venture capital firm is planning to raise up to E75m to invest in early-stage technology projects and university spin-offs.

Triangle Venture Capital, the German venture capital firm founded in 1997 by Uli Fricke, Bernd Geiger and Malte Köllner, has set out on its fourth fundraising programme.


The German firm is hoping to raise between E50m and E75m for Triangle Fund IV by 2004, with a first close scheduled for late 2003. Achieving this target would be a significant step forward for the business, which currently manages E23m.


Since its inception, Triangle has made investment in eleven start-up companies in knowledge management and recognition software, lasers and medical devices, advising on over 30 transactions to which a total amount of E46m, including co-investment, was committed.


The firm sources the majority of its investments from universities. The deal flow is sourced primarily from links with individuals in German universities and research institutes, many of whom are members of Triangle’s advisory network.


Bernd Geiger, founding partner at Triangle, said he believes Germany offers attractive opportunities at the early-stage level. “Very few VCs are focusing on the seed and start-up arena at the moment. Yet Germany has the highest spending on R&D, highest number of applied patents and highest number of young scientists and nascent Entrepreneurs in Europe. The challenge is to identify the right entrepreneurs and support them throughout the process.”


Triangle recently completed an exit through the sale of WaveScan, a unit of portfolio company 20/10 Perfect Vision, to US-based VISX Inc, a global eye surgery devices developer. 20/10 Perfect Vision, first financed by Triangle in 2000, was a start-up from the University of Heidelberg.


Triangle Fund IV will have standard terms and conditions including a 2.5 per cent management fee and a 20 per cent carried interest after an eight per cent preferred return to investors.


Acanthus Advisors has been appointed as placement agent and financial advisor to co-ordinate the fundraising.