eCAPITAL and High-Tech Gruenderfonds finance high-end raw materials recycling

February 8, 2011

saperatec, an independent recycling specialist for high-tech products receives € 1 m seed capital from the seed funds „Gruenderfonds Bielefeld-Ostwestfalen“ managed by eCAPITAL and the High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF), Bonn. Saperatec will use these funds to build up the production in Bielefeld, Germany.

The high-tech industry relies on sufficient availability of high-tech materials, such as rare earth and noble metals. These metals are used in the electronics industry, for example for TVs, smartphones, and computers. But also the photovoltaic industry needs noble and earth metals for its modules. While there are electronic waste recycling cycles, the strongly growing PV-industry waste recycling is still in its infancy.

“We have backed Saperatec’s team and technology because there a increasing incentives for recycling of “strategic metals” in Europe as one of the largest consumers of those”, says Andreas Quauke, Senior Investment Manager with HTGF.”Particularly regarding prevailing shortage of these resources through China as major producer let this issue become more and more relevant”, Quauke continues.

Thus, with its ecologic though simple procedure, saperatec will focus on the photovoltaic industry to recover nobel and earth metals like indium, selen, tellur, and other valuable metals from photovoltaic production waste or end-of-life modules. The technique works at room temperature and has the potential to outperform known methods which use high temperatures and aggressive chemicals. Thus, the technology does not only close the product life cylce of photovoltaic products but enables the efficient and economic retrieving of rare metals.

Dr. Sebastian Kernbaum, co-founder and managing director of saperatec, looks forward to working with High-Tech Gruenderfonds and eCAPITAL: “The market for photovoltaic recycling is bound to grow extensively over the next years and so will saperatec. We are happy to have found investors who are able to support us sustainably with their business network and industry know how. “

Dr. Michael Luebbehusen, fund manager of eCAPITAL’s seed fund „Gruenderfonds Bielefeld-Ostwestfalen“, adds: „The elegant, eco-friendly technology and the experienced management team convinced us at once. We are pleased to support such a trend setting company right from the start.”

About saperatec GmbH
saperatec specialises on disposal and ecologic reprocessing of photovoltaic production waste and end-of-life modules, for thin film as well as for thick film modules. Furthermore, photovoltaic modules containing heavy metals can be taken care of.

Dr. Sebastian Kernbaum
Saperatec GmbH
Ernst-Graebe-Str. 10
33611 Bielefeld
Phone: +49 521 5240-325
Fax: +49 521 5240-381

About Gruenderfonds Bielefeld-Ostwestfalen
Seedfund Bielefeld- Ostwestfalen is a 10 million Euro-VC-fund, managed by eCAPITAL AG and targeting technology startups with high growth potential. The fund teams experienced investors with successful entrepreneurs for first round financings of young companies. Investments can total up to 500,000 Euros and focus on the segments Bio-/Nanotechnology, Life Science, Process enginnering, MedTech, New Materials and ICT. Seedfund Bielefeld-Ostwestfalen was initialised by eCAPITAL. Fund investors are NRW.Bank, Sparkasse Bielefeld, Detmold and Herford and many notable entrepreneurs, who additionally support the fund with their social networks and business contacts.

For more information please visit (German only)

About eCAPITAL entrepreneurial Partners AG
The eCAPITAL entrepreneurial Partners AG is a venture capital company managed by entrepreneurs and located in Muenster, Germany. Since 1999, the company supports business people in promising industries. Investment focus is on innovative, high-growth companies in information technology/communications, new materials, optical technologies sectors, cleantech and innovative services.

eCAPITAL currently manages five funds totalling 120 million Euros. The funds invest in technology companies, as well as in small- and medium-sized companies throughout Germany.

Consultants of financing round
Tobias Krier              – KrierHeß GmbH, Berlin
Michael Wiehl           – Roedl&Partner, Nuremberg

Dr. Michael Luebbehusen
eCAPITAL entrepreneurial Partners AG
Hafenweg 24
48155 Muenster
Phone : +49 251 703767-0
Fax : +49 251 703767-22

About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests risk capital in young, promising technology companies capable of translating promising research findings into entrepeneurial ventures. It is intended that start-ups bring an R&D project as far as the production of a prototype or “Proof of Concept“, or even to market introduction, with the help of assistance from seed funding. High-Tech Gruenderfonds is able to participate in seed funding with a 500,000 Euro investment and in subsequent rounds may invest a total of up to 2 million Euros per company. Investors in the Public Private Partnership are the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW banking group and the following six industrial groups: BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has a fund volume of approximately 272 millions euros.

Andreas Quauke
Senior Investment Manager
High-Tech Gruenderfonds Management GmbH
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2
53175 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 823001-00
Fax: +49 228 823000-50


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