Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Expands its Corporate Ventures Fund

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany today announced an increased commitment to its Corporate Ventures fund under the new Corporate Ventures fund roof.

08 Jun 2016 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Existing biopharma venture fund renamed and expanded to all business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
  • Newly established teams will focus on each of the three existing business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, as well as new businesses
  • Total fund size doubled to up to € 300 million

Darmstadt, Germany, June 8, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced an increased commitment to its Corporate Ventures fund under the new Corporate Ventures fund roof (official name: Merck Ventures BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany). Four dedicated investment teams will focus on Healthcare, Life Science, Performance Materials and new businesses. The total volume of the newly set-up Corporate Ventures fund of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, can reach up to € 300 million once fully invested, doubling the volume of the previous biopharma venture fund of € 150 million.

“Our biopharma venture fund has been very successful to date. Now we are applying this successful approach to all three business sectors of our company,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “The new fund now reflects our businesses and, with its fourth arm, is open to investing in new businesses as we scout continuously for innovative ideas, for example in the area of digitalization.”

With its four teams, the new Corporate Ventures fund follows the former biopharma venture blueprint of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which has been in place since 2009. The biopharma fund was at the basis of several success stories such as Galecto Biotech (galectin modulators for the treatment of severe diseases), Asceneuron (company spin-off developing innovative drugs to help people with Alzheimer’s disease) and Metabomed (novel drugs against targets in the field of cancer cell metabolism), among others.

“The investments of the Corporate Ventures fund will be aligned with the strategic interests of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, though formally separated by a Chinese wall,” said Roel Bulthuis, Managing Director of the newly set up fund. “With our infrastructure of a leading science and technology company we provide start-ups with the support they need to make their vision a commercial success.”

The investment teams come with significant domain expertise and will provide a tailored investment approach across industries. Each team has the capacity to engage in seed-stage company creation, early-stage syndicated investments and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, spin-off creation and funding. Like the former biopharma venture fund, the new Corporate Ventures fund is managed by a global team headed by Roel Bulthuis.


For more information, contact Gangolf Schrimpf

Corporate Ventures Fund of Merck KGaA; Darmstadt, Germany

The new fund is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact the core business areas of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. From our headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel we invest globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. The Corporate Ventures fund takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. The fund has a significant focus on early-stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage the science and technology base of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.


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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, holds the global rights to the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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