Armilar launches its fifth Venture Capital Fund
Lisbon-based Armilar Venture Partners launches its fifth fund,
a EUR 60 million Technology Transfer Fund
Lisbon, 5 February 2019 – Armilar Venture Partners SGFCR (Armilar), an independent Venture Capital funds manager focused in deep tech investments, announced today the first closing of the EUR 60 million FCR Armilar Venture Partners TechTransfer Fund. The fund aims to find, invest in and help develop companies that aim to commercialise the results of research output, in particular those based out of Portugal, but also more broadly, in Europe.
The first of its kind in the country, the fund can support technology-based companies in different industries and through different stages of maturity, from proof-of-concept to the later stages of commercial development. The supported start-ups will often stem from leading European academic and research institutions, including spin-outs, participants of acceleration or incubation programs, and companies founded by former researchers, among others. It is Armilar’s fifth fund, that builds on the firm’s experience and track-record of 19 years investing in start-ups internationally and most particularly in Portugal, including companies such as OutSystems (in which Armilar is the only early-stage, and the only European, investor), Feedzai (which first funding round was led by Armilar) or Codacy (in which Armilar was also the lead investor in its seed round).
Pedro Ribeiro Santos, Partner of Armilar Venture Partners, commented: "Over the years, we’ve built a deep knowledge of the Portuguese ecosystem, and saw significant high-quality deal flow coming out of the best engineering schools and research institutions in the country, with whom we have strong relationships. Technology being part of the DNA of our investment team, a few years ago we launched a very small fund aiming to test the thesis of technology transfer investment in Portugal. With this new fund, we are taking it up several notches, making it international and adding the ability to invest in multiple stages. Having a Technology Transfer fund means that not only can we invest in early-stage technology-based companies, but now we can also go in very early, even working with institutions to help identify and develop the best opportunities to translate leading research into industry-leading businesses.”
With a target size of EUR 60 million, at its first closing the Armilar Venture Partners TechTransfer Fund has raised over EUR 45 million. The European Investment Fund (EIF), the fund’s anchor investor, is joined by a group of ten other international private investors, such as venture arms of large corporations (including companies like Semapa and KPN), academic institutions (including engineering schools like Instituto Superior Técnico), family offices and individuals (including founders of some of Armilar’s portfolio companies), and the Armilar team itself. Joaquim Sérvulo Rodrigues, Partner and CEO of Armilar, observed: "We are building on the experience of supporting great entrepreneurs, over many years, in building outstanding businesses, some of which have evolved to become the best in the world in their areas of activity and created enormous value for all their stakeholders. We are thrilled to offer the TechTransfer fund to continue backing creative entrepreneurs, and we are very honoured to be able to count with the trust and support of such a prestigious and diversified group of investors.”
EIF’s Chief Executive Officer Per Luigi Gilibert said: "We are pleased to partner with Armilar Venture Partners – an experienced team we have known for many years – to launch a Technology Transfer fund in Portugal. Technology Transfer is a strategic area for the EIF. We are one of the main investors in this emerging market segment, which demands a specific range of skills from managers, and we’re confident that Armilar is well placed to launch this fund in Portugal.” Henrique Cruz, CEO of Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento – who, through Portugal Tech, in partnership with the EIF, is also an investor in the fund – added: "Since it was launched last November, Portugal Tech has been actively addressing the main market failure identified by IFD in our start-up ecosystem: the very limited access to patient money. This investment under our partnership with EIF will be key to support Portuguese entrepreneurs who are looking for early-stage finance. We welcome this team into the Portugal Tech community and encourage entrepreneurs to get in touch with IFD and Armilar.”
Ricardo Pires, CEO of SemapaNext – the venture capital arm of Semapa, a Portuguese industrial holding company – commented: "SemapaNext is building a diversified portfolio of different types of venture capital assets. For our VC fund investment, we’re thrilled to partner with the most experienced and successful team in Portugal, whose integrity and whose resilience shown over the last few years is an example for the companies that they invest in.”
Herman Kienhuis, Director of KPN Ventures – the venturing arm of KPN, The Netherland’s leading telecom company – added: ”Partnerships with technology transfer funds help expand KPN’s network of potential technology partners. KPN has built-up valuable experience in working with universities, research centres and technology investors, supporting the commercialisation of technological innovations. Through the investment in Armilar’s TechTransfer Fund we aim to extend this approach to new geographies, creating more opportunities to partner with innovative technology companies to bring value to KPN customers.”
Paulo Rosado, Founder and CEO of OutSystems – the world's leading low-code development platform, one of the most successful Portuguese startups and an Armilar portfolio company – also noted: "I've worked with Armilar for many years now, and it always felt that we're one and the same team. For me, supporting their new fund is not only a good investment, it's also a contribution to having other founders experience that constructive founder-investor relationship."
Arlindo Oliveira, President of Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) – the leading engineering school in Portugal – concluded: "For IST, technology transfer is a strategic priority. We have often relied on the Armilar team to help us develop the entrepreneurial initiatives of our researchers, students and graduates. We could not pass on partnering up with Armilar as they launch the first large Technology Transfer fund in Portugal.”
About Armilar Venture Partners SGFCR, SA- Armilar Venture Partners is Portugal's leading venture capital funds manager. An independent VC with a 19-year-old history, a high-performance track record and an international footprint, Armilar is a deep-tech investor, investing in ICT, HealthTech and CleanTech with a focus on early-stage technology-based companies. Currently, Armilar has a total of about €260 million under management, with four funds deployed typically as lead investor in seed to early-stage deals in companies in Portugal, Europe and the USA, and its fifth fund launching in 2019. To find out more and to register for news, please go to .
The Armilar Venture Partners TechTransfer Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing. The fund is also co-financed by Fundo de Capital e Quase Capital (FC&QC), managed by IFD - Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento, S.A.