KPN Ventures, the venturing arm of KPN, has entered into an agreement with the Cottonwood European Technology Fund (CETF) to become one of its cornerstone investors. CETF is a venture capital fund specialised in high-tech companies in an early stage of development. The investment represents KPN Ventures’ first fund-in-fund investment.
“Investing in CETF enables us to expand our own scope and network in the technology-driven seed- and early-stage innovation ecosystem in Northern Europe,” said KPN Ventures Director Herman Kienhuis. “It will provide us with more opportunities for strategic partnerships with highly innovative technology companies and potential growth stage investment opportunities, also outside The Netherlands.”
Cottonwood is a U.S. fund excelling in early stage science-based investing outside Silicon Valley and Boston. Cottonwood focuses on regions rich in ideas, but emerging in the areas of experienced management and capital. CETF chose the Dutch region of Twente as the epicenter of their European hub because of the existence of its world class entrepreneurial environment and a leading entrepreneurial university there. CETF primarily invests in companies active in areas such as photonics, telecommunications and healthcare. The investments in CETF complements KPN Ventures’ own direct investment activities such as the recently announced investment in EclecticIQ.
“We’re pleased to welcome KPN as a cornerstone investor in our European fund. Being a Global 1000 company and a leader in communications, KPN is a great innovation partner and provides an ideal testing ground for so many of the technologies we are finding and supporting. KPN is willing to be an early adopter and help the companies test their products in live applications and pilots which is evidence of how entrepreneurial they truly are,” said Ray Quintana, General Partner and Head of European Operations and Corporate Relationships for Cottonwood.
About Cottonwood Euro Technology Fund
Cottonwood primarily invests in companies active in photonics, advanced materials, healthcare, telecom, automotive, mobility and clean energy. Cottonwood Europe Technology Fund (CETF), Cottonwood’s European fund, is based at Kennispark Twente, the innovation campus in the eastern part of the Netherlands, which has proven to be a perfect strategic location to serve The Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium. Preqin, a recognized leader in tracking private equity fund performance, lists Cottonwood as a top performing early stage VC fund in the US. In 2015, Cottonwood has invested in Clear Flight Solutions and Eurekite, both startups from Twente. Cottonwood’s investment strategy focuses on international growth from the beginning and recruiting all resources needed for success to partner with the company in its region of origin.
About KPN Ventures
KPN Ventures is the venturing arm of KPN, The Netherlands’ leading telecom & ICT company. KPN Ventures invests both directly, in high-growth European technology start-ups, and indirectly through fund-in-fund investments. KPN Ventures provides access to capital, to KPN’s extensive expertise in connectivity, security and related technologies, to its leading network infrastructure and to its large customer base. KPN Ventures focuses on early growth-stage investments in European technology companies in the segments: Internet of Things, Smart Home, e-Health, Cyber Security, OTT and Cloud services and Data & analytics applications. KPN Ventures has its main office in Rotterdam and has invested a.o. in Actility and Jasper Technologies.