Qbic announces first close of new fund at € 49 million to invest in spin-offs from world-class knowledge partners.
St-Denijs-Westrem, Belgium, 17 March 2022 – Qbic, an inter-university venture capital fund focusing on the transformation of technological breakthroughs into sustainable businesses, announces the first close of its third fund at € 49 million. As with previous funds Qbic I and II, Qbic III will invest in spin-offs from multiple partner institutes, building a strong and diverse portfolio of early-stage companies in deeptech, software, biotech, and medtech.
Qbic continues to build on strong partnerships with key Belgian universities (UGent, VUB, UAntwerpen, UHasselt, and ULiège), research institutes (VITO and imec), and eight innovative hospitals. Through the preferred relationships, Qbic III has access to the deal flow of these partners, which are among the top innovation centers in Europe. Qbic III sees continued commitment from investors in Qbic’s previous funds, including SFPI-FPIM, PMV, BNP Paribas Fortis, KBC, LRM, Noshaq and, finance&invest.brussels, backed by additional investors including private individuals and family offices.
Stimulating and Diversifying Entrepreneurship
The fund’s mission is to foster the creation and growth of tech-enabled businesses, supporting the transformation of academic research into commercial, viable, and scalable companies with the ability to improve people’s lives. Qbic is a signatory on the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), with Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) principles forming an inherent part of investment decisions.
Qbic plays a crucial role in bringing innovation from lab to commercial successes. As part of its mission, the fund strives to promote diversity and young entrepreneurs – a goal which was achieved with Qbic II’s 19 portfolio companies, where 6 of the CEOs are women and 16 are first-time CEOs. Qbic is an active investor, supporting companies 12-18 months before they’re incorporated with pre-investment coaching for projects in close collaboration with its knowledge partners. Qbic II also further strengthened the local ecosystem through the creation of more than 360 new jobs.
Qbic III will build on the successful investment strategy of Qbic I and II
With this first close, Qbic III is on track for a larger fund size than both Qbic I and II, continuing talks with new investors over the coming months. The fund is launching with an existing pipeline and expecting to review an average of 100 potential projects annually. Some well-known names from the Qbic I portfolio include: Biotalys (IPO Euronext Brussels), Confo Therapeutics; PharmaFluidics (acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific); Biogazelle (acquired by CellCarta); Multiplicom (acquired by Agilent Technologies); and Molecubes (acquired by Bruker). Qbic II includes amongst others: Aphea.Bio; Indigo; Sentea; MRM Health; Blue Foot; and Aloxy.
Qbic III will be independently managed by a seasoned team consisting of Sofie Baeten as Managing Partner, Steven Leuridan and Cédric Van Nevel who were promoted to Partner at the occasion of the third fund, and Sara Vandenwijngaert as investment manager. As the fund expands, the team will also be complemented by new hires.
Sofie Baeten, Qbic Managing Partner/CEO: “We’re very excited to announce the launch of our new fund, with which we will continue to invest in the most promising seed and early-stage projects emerging from our excellent knowledge partners. We’re very grateful to our knowledge partners for the trust they place in Qbic and look forward to continuing our collaboration with them. A big thank you to our investors as well who have demonstrated their confidence in our team and our ability to provide financial and strategic support to new ventures in this wonderfully innovative ecosystem.”
Koen Van Loo, SFPI-FPIM (CEO): “Qbic occupies a truly unique position in the investment landscape. Through the fund’s links with multiple partners, Qbic has access to top notch European tech innovation across a wide range of Belgian institutes. This fund helps to ensure that research is transitioned into promising spin-offs supported by strong investor syndicates, thereby reinforcing the rich Belgian ecosystem, which is essential to promote sustainability and biodiversity. We see this as a real differentiating factor and are delighted to be part of the third Qbic fund.”
Rik Van de Walle, UGent (rector): “Qbic occupies an essential niche in this ecosystem by providing very early-stage support for innovative technology. The fund works closely with the Tech Transfer Offices of partnering universities and research institutes. With their hands-on approach, they nurture ideas from concept to company and they propel entrepreneurs from start-up to scale-up. We look forward to our continued fruitful partnership with the fund.”
Qbic is an inter-university venture capital fund focusing on the transformation of technological breakthroughs into sustainable businesses. Qbic supports spin-offs and start-ups that valorize research from Qbic's knowledge partners in the deeptech, software, biotech, and medtech sectors. Qbic is one of the largest spin-off funds in Europe managing € 150 million in resources over the different funds. Qbic I launched in 2012 and has finalized its portfolio of 18 ventures; Qbic II launched in 2017 and has a portfolio of 19 ventures, and Qbic III launched in 2022 and is currently building its portfolio.
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