Düsseldorf-based Inventages Ventures Capital is to manage Nestlé's €150 million corporate venture fund.
Besides making direct investments in privately owned high-tech companies, the fund will also help the Nestlé's employees launch their own spinoffs for technologies or discoveries which do not fit the company's core business.
In that sense, it has similar priorities to the Novartis Venture Fund and the Roche New Medical Technologies funds.
The Swiss-domiciled fund, set up last autumn, is called "Life Ventures by Nestlé", and will have up to €150 million at its disposal to invest over the coming years.
Inventages Venture Capital GmbH was founded by Dr Gunnar Weikert, the former Head of Biotech Investment Strategy at Bayer in Leverkusen, Germany.
The size of the fund makes it a considerable force in the investment community. Most new venture funds typically have capital of around €10 to €20 million.
The fund will focus on life sciences (food and nutrition in general, health-enhancing food, agricultural biotechnology), as well as commercial applications, such as consumer relation management (CRM), food processes and packaging technologies.
Beyond seeking profitable investments, Nestlé plans to use the fund to get better access to new science, technology and know-how opportunities, through acquisitions, minority stakes, licensing and joint ventures.
by Valerie Thompson
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