Darmstadt, Germany, June 8, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced an increased commitment to its Corporate Ventures fund under the new Corporate Ventures fund roof (official name: Merck Ventures BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany). Four dedicated investment teams will focus on Healthcare, Life Science, Performance Materials and new businesses. The total volume of the newly set-up Corporate Ventures fund of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, can reach up to € 300 million once fully invested, doubling the volume of the previous biopharma venture fund of € 150 million.

“Our biopharma venture fund has been very successful to date. Now we are applying this successful approach to all three business sectors of our company,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “The new fund now reflects our businesses and, with its fourth arm, is open to investing in new businesses as we scout continuously for innovative ideas, for example in the area of digitalization.”

With its four teams, the new Corporate Ventures fund follows the former biopharma venture blueprint of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which has been in place since 2009. The biopharma fund was at the basis of several success stories such as Galecto Biotech (galectin modulators for the treatment of severe diseases), Asceneuron (company spin-off developing innovative drugs to help people with Alzheimer’s disease) and Metabomed (novel drugs against targets in the field of cancer cell metabolism), among others.

“The investments of the Corporate Ventures fund will be aligned with the strategic interests of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, though formally separated by a Chinese wall,” said Roel Bulthuis, Managing Director of the newly set up fund. “With our infrastructure of a leading science and technology company we provide start-ups with the support they need to make their vision a commercial success.”

The investment teams come with significant domain expertise and will provide a tailored investment approach across industries. Each team has the capacity to engage in seed-stage company creation, early-stage syndicated investments and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, spin-off creation and funding. Like the former biopharma venture fund, the new Corporate Ventures fund is managed by a global team headed by Roel Bulthuis.

Corporate Ventures Fund of Merck KGaA; Darmstadt, Germany
The new fund is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact the core business areas of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. From our headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel we invest globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. The Corporate Ventures fund takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. The fund has a significant focus on early-stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage the science and technology base of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.