KPN Ventures, the venturing arm of KPN, has entered into an agreement with KEEN Venture Partners LLP (“KEEN”) to invest EUR 10 million in its newly launched technology investment fund.
The KEEN Venture Partners Fund will seek to provide early growth capital for technology companies with breakaway momentum across Europe with a particular focus on innovation hubs in the UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. In addition, the fund will consider North American-based technology companies looking to expand into Europe. KEEN intends to invest EUR 5 million to EUR 10 million per company.
KEEN was set up by Ben Verwaayen, former CEO of both BT and Alcatel-Lucent, Alexander Ribbink, former COO of TomTom and Robert Verwaayen, former principal at Prime Ventures. The partners have significant operational and investment experience, including in scaling businesses.
“We’re excited to work with KEEN Venture Partners as a way to further expand the scope and opportunity of KPN Ventures to engage in partnerships with innovative tech companies,” said KPN Ventures Director Herman Kienhuis. “The team at KEEN have valuable and complementary expertise and the network to support founders of high-growth technology companies in building international businesses.”
The inaugural KEEN fund has attracted investors for an amount totalling EUR 90 million for the first closing. Other key investors in the fund include the European Investment Fund (EIF), Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI) and ING Bank, in addition to several private investors and entrepreneurs. KEEN is targeting a final close in 2017.
KPN Ventures invests both directly, in high-growth European technology start-ups, and indirectly through fund-in-fund investments. The investment in KEEN Venture Partners Fund marks KPN Ventures’ second fund-in-fund investment, following the announced investment in Cottonwood’s European Technology Fund in May 2016.
KEEN Venture Partners LLP, a Small AIFM (as defined in the UK Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations 2013, as amended) authorised in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and registered as a manager of a ‘EuVECA’ (a ‘European Venture Capital Fund’), is a new venture capital firm which will manage the Fund as a ‘EuVECA’, investing in high potential technology scale-ups. KEEN’s team develops strategic investment ideas in information and communication technology domains with transformative potential. When working with entrepreneurs, KEEN is highly committed to help talented entrepreneurs with the best support possible by leveraging its network, expertise and eventually capital. The firm operates from London and Amsterdam and focuses on European and select North American investment opportunities.