Portfolio IFG once again enriched
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Portfolio IFG once again enriched

Investment Fund Groningen (IFG) is looking back on a fine 2020. Of course, the corona crisis had a slowing effect on the progress of the funds in which it participates. Nevertheless, IFG achieved the targets set in advance. For example, two great funds were once again added to the portfolio: the Dutch Security TechFund and NextGen Ventures 2.

In late 2019, Jan Martin Timmer, fund manager of IFG, first came into contact with the management of Dutch Security TechFund. At the time, he did not know very much in terms of content about cybersecurity technology, the sector the fund focuses on. What he did know, of course, was that cybersecurity is booming and is only getting bigger and more important worldwide. 'I started talking to Erik Rutkens, among others,' Jan Martin says. 'Erik is a real ambassador of the sector in the region as an entrepreneur and as chairman of the Cyber Security Center North Netherlands Foundation. It quickly became clear to me that more and more IT companies in Groningen are shifting their focus to cybersecurity. Logical, because a lot of business coincides with it. Combined with the great attention that the Northern knowledge institutions, such as RUG, Hanzehogeschool and Noorderpoort, have for the theme, we saw sufficient basis to invest in the Dutch Security TechFund.'


NextGen Ventures, a fund that focuses primarily on promising companies in MedTech, was no stranger to IFG. Not least because Stichting Triade, affiliated with the UMCG, is one of the initiators. Moreover, with NextGen Ventures 1, the fund had already been quite active in Groningen for some time. 'From the network I was already in contact every now and then with Peter Haasjes, fund manager of NextGen Ventures,' says Jan Martin. 'At some point he presented me with the proposition of NextGen Ventures 2. This second fund focuses, as one of the few in the Netherlands, on medical technology combined with the use of (big) data. That appealed, because MedTech, like the IT sector, is very well organized in Groningen. You also see that the two are increasingly able to find each other. In addition, NextGen Ventures aims for both a financial and a social return. So does IFG. That's why we were happy to participate in NextGen Ventures 2.'

Peter Haasjes | NextGen Ventures: 'We have an impact-driven mission'

Peter Haasjes 121120 5NextGen Ventures, founded in 2013, is an investment fund focused exclusively on promising healthcare technology. NextGen Ventures 1 was followed in 2019 by NextGen Ventures 2, in which IFG also invests. Whence the collaboration and what can we expect from the fund in the region? Fund manager Peter Haasjes explains.

'NextGen Ventures operates on an impact-driven mission,' says Peter. 'Of course we want to make a return, but always with the goal of investing in demonstrable healthcare improvement. We see that healthcare costs are getting higher and higher. That's why we prefer to invest in breakthrough innovations in Healthcare IT and medical technology that advance the quality of healthcare, at lower or the same cost.'

What is the difference between NextGen Ventures 1 and 2?

'With our second fund, we are looking very explicitly at the data component of innovations. We do this based on the realization that adding data to the healthcare process can result in better diagnostics and treatments. At the same time, you can use data-driven models to work very specifically on prevention, thereby reducing the cost of care. Just look at the developments around healthy ageing, which we are also involved in.'

How did the contacts with the IFG come about?

'Health insurer Menzis, De Friesland Zorgverzekeraar, Stichting Triade and Noaber Foundation have invested in NexGen Ventures since our inception. Through Stichting Triade, we came into contact with IFG. An interesting fund in an interesting region, with which we immediately had a good click. Hence, we decided to start working together and IFG thus took a stake in the fund.

Don't you compete with NOM's investment company?

No, on the contrary. NOM actually likes it when a private party like NextGen Ventures joins an investment. In fact, quite recently we invested together in the Groningen biotech startup Tracer.

What can we expect from the collaboration with IFG?

"Over the years we have gathered many parties around us with the same vision on healthcare as NextGen Ventures. Partly because of that large network, we are an attractive partner for entrepreneurs in healthcare technology, also in Groningen. Because of our good contacts with the Triade Foundation, we are already well established in the region. In the past, for example, we have already invested in several Groningen startups. Our goal is to do that together with IFG many more times.'

Portfolio IFG once again enriched

Peter Haasjes

Maarten Derks, Michael Lucassen and Maarten Derks | Dutch Security TechFund: Investing in a secure digital future

The Dutch Security TechFund is TIIN Capital's 6th venture capital fund, which has been investing in young, innovative companies for years. With the latest fund, launched in 2018, TIIN Capital aims to contribute within the Dutch ecosystem to a secure and healthy digital future. We asked managing partners Michael Lucassen and Maarten Derks about the how and why and, of course, the collaboration with IFG.

'The Dutch Security TechFund focuses on startups and scale-ups active in cyber security and IoT security solutions,' says Michael. 'So on promising companies that use innovations to make other companies and society safer. The fund is funded in part by KPN Ventures, Regional Development Company
InnovationQuarter, the Municipality of The Hague and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Invest-NL and recently also by IFG.

'What makes that market so interesting to investors?

Maarten: "First of all, because cybersecurity is going to become increasingly important. At the same time, we see that there are a lot of partial solutions in the market. There are numerous companies that each solve a
solve a small piece of cybersecurity. We expect that in the coming years there will be a kind of concentration battle, that larger parties will take over those small parties and start merging them into a total solution. Then, with the prospect of an exit, it is naturally attractive to invest in such a partial solution.

What specifically can you do for startups and scale-ups?

Maarten: "Michael and I both have years of experience in early stage and later stage ICT investments. In addition, the team consists of young entrepreneurs in the technology sector who have themselves taken a startup to a scale-up. We have, in short, all the expertise to help promising companies in cybersecurity grow and scale up. Michael: "But we also know the added value of a strong ecosystem. Experience shows that by working intensively with governments, semi-governments, corporates and the private sector, you can actually make a difference.'

Why this collaboration with IFG?

'Michael: 'NOM director Dina Boonstra, with whom we once started talking, introduced us to Jan Martin Timmer. A primary reason we eventually joined forces is that Groningen has a well-developed ecosystem in the field of both ICT and cybersecurity, particularly from the Cyber Security Center Foundation for the Northern Netherlands and the RUG.' Maarten: 'We certainly know that we can be of great added value in the region and therefore expect to make nice investments in Groningen. We greatly appreciate the collaboration with IFG in this regard. Especially also because they are already very active in the market.'

Portfolio IFG once again enriched

Maarten Derks