KPN enters the fund through its venture capital arm KPN Ventures, while financial group Belfius participates via its insurance arm. The new participants join a whole host of investors from both the semiconductor industry and the financial sector: Samsung Electronics, BNP Paribas Fortis, Applied Materials, SK Hynix, Philips, the Dutch-Brabant development company BOM, KBC Verzekeringen and federal investment company FPIM.
The fund will invest in start-ups and scale-ups from the broad ecosystem surrounding imec. These may also be foreign companies or companies that are not direct spin-offs of imec. The fund intends to differentiate from other local venture capital funds by investing larger amounts (starting at EUR 10 million) in start-ups at an early stage.
imec.xpand invests early, but makes sure it has sufficient financial resources to continue supporting the company until it has a product on the market. This philosophy allows starting entrepreneurs to focus on developing their technologies and building their businesses instead of spending all their time and energy on the next, often small round of financing.
By investing larger amounts in start-ups, imec wants to contribute further to Flanders’ great start-up climate. The success rate of start-ups in Flanders is among the highest in Europe. Two out of three start-ups are still active after 5 years.