Old-school engineering giant Siemens set up a new VC fund of $100 million to support early stage startups that develop digital technologies, particularly for industrial automation and ‘internet of things’. Titled “The Industry of the Future Fund“, the new capital will be injected into very young and pioneering startups from around the world, with already developed innovative technologies that have high potential to transform manufacturing and industrial markets.
This is the first VC fund by German giant to focus solely on very early stage digital startups. It will extend Siemens’ existing venture capital activity which typically involves more mature tech companies. With offices in Europe, Asia and the U.S., Siemens Venture Capital (SVC) have invested so far in more than 150 companies and 40 venture capital funds across the world. Venture Capital Unit of Siemens, a part of Financial Services division, will manage the Industry of the Future Fund alongside existing venture capital business.
SVC’s typical investments per financing round in the past has been between 2 and 5 million euros, according to the press release.
As a general goal, SVC expects the companies it invested in to realize sustainable profitability and success through a much-preferrable sale or IPO. Of course, early stage startups that will be eligible for a share in the new fund will need to supply proven tech that will expand and improve the products and services that Siemens offers. Company says they are less focused on specific revenue numbers, but more interested in market traction, leadership, momentum and potential market opportunity.
“As digitization and software are becoming increasingly important for manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace, the Industry of the Future Fund will support Siemens’ “Industrie 4.0” strategy by providing capital to those companies whose innovative technologies and vision have the potential to change the landscape of manufacturing and industrial automation,” said Siegfried Russwurm, CEO of the Siemens Industry Sector and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG.
Siemens had already hinted further investments in young disruptive tech companies last year, by its funding of Lagoa (Montreal), a provider of cloud-based, high-performance 3D visualization software, and CounterTack (Boston), developer of next generation cyber security software.