NRW.BANK to make an additional EUR 214 million in venture capital available to business start-ups

Düsseldorf, 4 December 2017

NRW.BANK will increase the venture capital it makes available to company founders by an additional EUR 214 million with a view to making it easier for up-and-coming young companies to raise the required capital. The funds will be complemented by large amounts of private capital, as each euro invested by NRW.BANK will raise up to four euros in private capital.

Eckhard Forst, Chairman of the Managing Board of NRW.BANK: “This is a significant amount of fresh capital we will make available to the market, in keeping with our motto that no good idea should fail because of a lack of money. We are thus sending a signal to attract new investors to North Rhine-Westphalia. This will take NRW a great deal forward on its way towards becoming one of the leading locations for start-ups.”

The development bank for North Rhine-Westphalia had previously made available EUR 251 million in venture capital. The additional amount of EUR 214 million represents an increase by 85 percent.

This commitment is not least appreciated by North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister for Economics and Digitisation, Andreas Pinkwart: “The North Rhine-Westphalian government wants to encourage and support innovative young companies. NRW.BANK will make more venture capital available than ever before. The strong lever effect will make it possible to raise about half a billion euros in venture capital to assist technology-based start-ups in realising their growth plans. In combination with our measures aimed at simplifying and digitising the public administration, this fresh capital will create the ideal environment to make North Rhine-Westphalia the No. 1 federal state for business start-ups.”


The details:

  • EUR 30 million will be invested in the NRW.BANK.Seed Fund 3. This is a fund-of-funds investing in regional seed funds. The regional focus is a great advantage, as the local partners know the needs of their companies best. Companies no older than 18 months from sectors such as IT, software, microtechnology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics and medical engineering may obtain up to EUR 1.5 million in several financing rounds. NRW.BANK’s share amounts to 30 – 45 percent, with the remaining capital provided by other investors.
  • EUR 100 million will come from the NRW.BANK.Venture Fund 3. For comparison: Venture Funds 1 and 2 had a volume of EUR 40 million and EUR 80 million, respectively. NRW.BANK will also increase the amount per company from a maximum of EUR 5 million across several financing rounds in Venture Fund 1 and 2 to a maximum of EUR 10 million. NRW.BANK’s share will amount to up to 49 percent. The capital will be used to fund young innovative technology companies from sectors such as information and communications technology, biotechnology, cleantech, medical engineering, microsystems and logistics.
  • NRW.BANK will be able to invest EUR 100 million in venture capital funds managed by third parties – this represents an increase by EUR 74 million. The fund managers undertake to invest at least these funds in North Rhine-Westphalian companies. Effect: An investment by a public-law investor will attract other investors. Moreover, many investment companies open offices in North Rhine-Westphalia when NRW.BANK is on board. Latest example: Earlybird Healthcare.
  • EUR 10 million in NRW.StartUp Capital: This capital serves to support corporations which have already received project funds from the “START-UP-Hochschul-Ausgründungen NRW” programme and are not older than one year. The funding amounts from EUR 50,000 to EUR 200,000 and takes the form of a convertible loan.


NRW.BANK is the state development bank of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its mission is to support its owner – the state of North Rhine-Westphalia – in the completion of its structural and economic policy tasks. In its three fields of promotion “Economic Development”, “Housing Promotion” and “Infrastructure/Municipal Promotion”, NRW.BANK uses a wide range of promotion tools – from low-interest promotion loans to equity financing to advisory services. It cooperates with all banks and savings banks based in NRW on a competition-neutral basis. NRW.BANK takes into account the existing offers by the Federal Government, the North Rhine-Westphalian government and the European Union in the arrangement of its promotion.



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