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PFR Ventures brings Icos Capital Fund III, a EUR 50 M AgriFood and CleanTech innovation venture capital fund to Poland

PFR Ventures
PFR Ventures brings Icos Capital Fund III, a EUR 50 M AgriFood and CleanTech innovation venture capital fund to Poland

Icos Capital Fund III, established by European venture capital firm - Icos Capital, will invest in scale-ups focused on boosting software and process technologies for manufacturing in agriculture, food and (bio-) chemical industry. The fund operates in CVC formula and is supported by three corporate investors: Nouryon, Bühler Group and Royal Cosun.

The Icos Capital Fund III (ICF III) plans to invest EUR 50 million in innovative scale-ups active in chemical, food and materials sectors. The fund has European corporations as anchor investors and strategic partners in Nouryon, Bühler Group and Royal Cosun. Funding also comes from Polish public Limited Partner – PFR Ventures, which manages a fund of funds dedicated to CVC investments (PFR NCBR CVC supported by the National Centre for Research and Development [NCBR]).

Icos Capital is active in The Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and Germany, with activities across Europe and has its fund management headquartered in Rotterdam.

We also use EU money to develop the venture capital sector in Poland, including the increasingly important corporate venture capital formula. The ICOS III fund is around 20 million euro, half of which comes from the Intelligent Development programme. We appreciate that the funds and corporate investors from abroad want to invest in the Polish innovative companies. This only confirms that in our country there are many interesting companies with innovative ideas and high development potential

– said Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak, Minister of Develpoment Funds and Regional Policy.

Icos Capital engages corporations and financial institutions in a collaborative partnership to facilitate growth of promising scale-ups. Successful execution of our business model coupled with strong performance has helped us establish third such fund with leading institutions and corporations. We are also excited to have PFR Ventures on board as this opens us more for the Polish start-up ecosystem. 

Peter van Gelderen, Managing Director, Icos Capital

We are glad to have first international corporations active on the Polish CVC market. We hope this will affect local players to take a closer look into a formula used by most of Fortune500 companies 

Maciej Ćwikiewicz, CEO, PFR Ventures

We have successfully developed a network of VC funds and now we are introducing next R&D-oriented CVC fund to the Polish market, so that technology companies can grow in long-term period

Wojciech Kamieniecki, Director of the National Centre for Research and Development.

We have seen consistent increase in promising technology companies in recent years in Poland and are now in discussion with several startups in the region. In mid-2019, we co-led an investment in Reliability Solutions, headquarted in Krakaw, with EEC Magenta. We plan to announce several new investments in the region in the coming year.

Nityen Lal, Managing Director, Icos Capital.

The Consortium

The ICF III collaborative partnership includes three leading European corporations: Switzerland based Bühler Group, market leader in system & solutions for agri-food and the automotive sector; The Netherlands based Nouryon, a specialty chemicals leader and Royal Cosun, leading European agri-food and biochemicals cooperative headquartered in The Netherlands.

The corporate consortium provides unprecedented market intelligence to analyse over 1,000 propositions per year and invest in the best opportunities. The collaboration partners have already demonstrated solid commitment to assist portfolio companies in their scale-up journey in industrial markets. All of the corporations are present in Poland and have important business here. Their combined revenue for 2019 was over EUR 10 billion globally.

The ICF III fund has already made four investments, in industrial digitization, in the fields of Augmented Intelligence   (Squirro,   Switzerland),   precision   agriculture   (Gamaya,   Switzerland),   predictive   analytics (Reliability Solutions, Poland, previously also funded by NCBR) and disruptive fermentation for biochemicals (Holiferm, UK) and plans to announce two more investments shortly with business activities in Poland.

“We have an ambitious digitization agenda and in partnership with Icos Capital we are screening the best companies to make them successful in their markets and bring digital and sustainable food processing solutions available in our markets and for our customers. We work with Reliability Solutions, Squirro and Gamaya which we believe are winning solutions in some of our core markets we are active in.” Ian Roberts, CTO Bühler Group, Switzerland.

“We are working with Icos on several innovations, including our partnership with Photanol to produce chemicals from sunlight and CO2. Icos Capital is an efficient platform for sourcing, monitoring and collaborating with leading edge innovations and it supports our strategy of developing more sustainable chemical platforms for our customers.” Marco Waas, Director RD&I and Technology at Nouryon, the Netherlands.

“Our participation in ICF III is an investment to source innovations that strengthen and broaden our businesses, setting up new collaborations with innovative scale-ups both in our core markets as well as in new markets where our existing capabilities can make a difference. We are looking forward to working with Icos Capital and the other corporate partners in the fund with complementary businesses but focusing on similar digitization opportunities and sustainability challenges.” Albert Markusse, CEO at Royal Cosun, the Netherlands.

Since its inception, Icos Capital has backed 18 ambitious start-ups and scale-ups at the intersection of digital and sustainable industry. Through collaborative venturing, Icos Capital has supported and continues to support companies with high potential to transform foodtech, agritech and industrial digitization. With over 80 years combined experience, the team continues to secure top-tier funding, attracts industry leading corporates and takes a hands-on approach partnering with highly innovative start-ups in the field.

PFR Ventures
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