EWE invests in High-Tech Gründerfonds III
Regional energy and telecommunications group invests seven-figure sum in HTGF III
EWE AG, a regional energy and telecommunications service provider based in Oldenburg, Germany, is investing a seven-figure sum in HTGF III. Through its investment, the company will gain access to innovative tech start-ups and the fund’s large network spanning the entire start-up scene. This will help the company to drive forward the issue of digitalisation, in particular, as well as to establish new business areas in the fields of energy, IT, telecommunications and mobility.
As Europe’s most active seed stage investor, High-Tech Gründerfonds provides early-stage access to start-ups and technology trends across a range of industries as well as collaborations with high-tech start-ups.
Guido Kühling, Head of Corporate Development at EWE AG, says: “In HTGF, we have a partner at our side that will support our process of innovation and transformation through contact with start-up companies and their solutions. We are very interested in exploring new business areas, even on the periphery of our core business, as we look to help shape the future of digital energy and telecommunications services. At the same time, our seat on the investment committee ensures we are directly involved whenever the fund invests in additional start-ups.”
Dr. Alex von Frankenberg, Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds, adds: “We are delighted to have EWE on board, an investor with years of experience and know-how in the key industries of energy, telecommunications and IT. We see great potential for synergy and collaborations with our portfolio.”
HTGF III seeks to build on the work of the first two funds. Start-ups are provided with financial investment, expertise and an extensive network consisting of fund investors, other national and international investors, experts, experienced managers, company founders and scouts, as they are guided from the seed stage right up to exit phase. A host of companies have already been launched in the key industries mentioned above and stakes in 36 businesses successfully sold.
About EWE AG
EWE is an innovative service provider active in the business areas of energy, telecommunications and information technology. The Group is pooling its expertise in these areas in order to build the best energy supply system for the future by 2026 and to offer its customers optimum solutions. EWE focuses on profitable partnerships and seizes opportunities that arise in new markets and as a result of digitisation. With around 9,000 employees and sales of EUR 7.6 billion in 2016, EWE is one of the largest utility companies in Germany. The company, based in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, is primarily owned by the local government. It provides electricity to over 1.3 million customers in northwest Germany, Brandenburg and Rügen, as well as parts of Poland and Turkey and supplies natural gas to almost 1.8 million customers. It also provides over 780,000 customers with telecommunications services. To achieve this, the various companies in the EWE Group operate around 205,000 kilometres of energy and telecommunications networks. The accelerated expansion of fibre optics as resolved in 2016 is a key success factor for the Group’s development into the leading utility company in northern Germany. More information on EWE can be found at www.ewe.com.
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High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is Germany’s most active seed stage investor. With about EUR 830 million under management (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II, EUR 254 million HTGFIII), HTGF provide financing for technology-driven companies active in a wide range of fields, including robotics, IoT and energy, Medtech and Biotech, chemicals and software. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take their ideas through prototyping and to market launch. HTGF can provide up to EUR 3 million in total financing per company in follow-on financing rounds. Furthermore, start-ups benefit from HTGF’s team experience and expertise as well as the extensive network of investors, experts, managers and scouts. Investors in this public-private partnership include the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V. and numerous strategic corporate investors, including ALTANA, BASF, B.Braun, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik and WACKER.
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