The Dutch venture capitalist firm Forward.one has announced it has raised nearly 40 million euros for its first fund targeted at B2B hardware start-ups. The new fund has already invested in four companies: Covadem (telematics for inland shipping), Delft Advanced Biorenewables (production technology for biochemicals and biofuels), Eave (intelligent hearing protection) and Mayht (advanced loudspeaker technology). The regional economic development agency for West Holland, InnovationQuarter, has put in 1 million euros.
Especially for hardware start-ups, it’s a challenge to raise money, as they usually need more funding, have a longer ROI and don’t scale easily. That’s why, in 2017, three former employees of Delft University of Technology offshore spin-off Ampelmann – David Cerda Salzmann, Frederik Gerner and Arjan Göbel – and two corporate finance specialist previously working at the business bank Kempen & Co – Paul Pruijmboom and Riemer Smink – decided to found a VC firm specifically targeted at this type of companies. Forward.one offers an initial investment of 2.5 million euros, with extra funding available for future rounds.
“By the end of 2020, we expect to have invested in fifteen companies,” says David Cerda Salzmann. “We’re currently talking to a number of promising candidates looking to become the next Ampelmann.”