VC firm Volta Ventures announced today that it has raised €42 million to invest in early stage internet and software startups. Major investors in this round are the European Investment Fund (EIF), PMV and ARKimedes-Fonds II.
The focus of the fund is to invest in startups in the Benelux, compromising the European countries Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg. The intent of Volta Ventures is to fill a hole in the VC market in the region by offering the capital needed after the angel and before the ‘VC stage.’ It argues that there are countless promising startups and excellent incubators in the region like Startupbootcamp and Rockstart, but that they are confronted with a funding gap. The gap between small angel rounds of a few hundred thousand euro and VC rounds that typically start at 1.5 million euro.
Besides the ambition to close this gap Volta Ventures also aims to ‘combat the myth that the only place where high tech innovation occurs is in Silicon Valley’, the VC firm states on its website.
Frank Maene and Filip Vandamme are going to lead Volta Ventures. Maene has a long track record as an investor. He has been partner at Hummingbird Ventures and Big Bang Ventures. He currently serves on the board of directors of Amplidata, Awingu, Ciceksepeti, Digitouch and Engagor. Filip Vandamme was previously VP Corporate Business Development and M&A at Barco. Serial entrepreneur Michel Akkermans will be the chairman of the advisory board of the VC firm. Frank Appeldoorn will oversee the activities in The Netherlands as principal.
In addition to the management team 30 business angels will be actively supporting portfolio companies with the identification of new markets and customers, recruitment, raising additional capital, etc. These include among others, Peter Hinssen (Accros Group), Jan Vorstermans (Telenet), Alain De Taeye (TomTom), Eric Van Zele (Barco).
Volta Ventures expects to be to announcing its first investments in the very near future. In the next six months it may close another funding round firm stated.
Photo by Pieter van Marion (creative commons via Flickr)