Zouk Ventures raises €25m for clean technology

The technology-focused venture capital firm is aiming to raise at least €100m for its second vehicle, which will invest predominantly in the European clean technology sector.

London-based venture capital firm Zouk Ventures has held a first closing of its second technology fund, Cleantech Europe, on €25 million ($31 million).
 
Felix von Schubert, partner at Zouk Ventures, told PEO that Cleantech Europe aims to reach at least €100 million but declined to disclose the vehicle’s official hard target.
 
Von Schubert said marketing for Cleantech Europe began in mid-2005 and is expected to reach a final close within the next 12 months. He added that the firm is working with a number of specialised placement agents on the fundraising.
 
The new fund will focus on clean technology business in areas such as renewable energy, energy storage, emission reduction, nanotechnology, water and recycling. It will primarily target expansion-stage companies operating in Europe, though von Schubert said the firm would also consider companies based in North America and Asia provided there is “a European element, such as expansion”.
 
Cleantech Europe will make 12 to 15 investments over an eight-year period with typical investment sizes of between €3 million and €8 million, added von Schubert.
 
Zouk Ventures’ first fund, the European E-commerce Fund, which closed on $80 million (€65 million) in 1999, has also invested in cleantech, but has a broader technology remit. Included in the portfolio is CarbonNeutral Company, which helps corporates assess carbon emissions and reduce them where possible. Other portfolio companies include online music publisher peoplesound.com and SME procurement provider Mondus.
 
Zouk Ventures was founded in 1999 by von Schubert and CEO Samer Salty, who previously managed and structured wireless and technology private equity transactions within the TMT group at JP Morgan in Europe. Prior to that, he was head of global markets for the Middle East region at JP Morgan, structuring corporate finance and derivatives transactions with institutional clients.
 
Zouk Ventures currently manages over $100 million in two technology funds and has investments in Finland, Germany, Ireland and the UK.