Venture Capital

All in: Boehringer Ingelheim more than doubles its venture fund to €250M

In a move that reflects the increasingly active role corporate VCs are playing in biotech, German pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim is funneling an additional €150 million into its venture fund now totaling €250 million.

Along with the cash comes double the investment managers, and a second US-based office in 2018.

Frank Kalkbrenner

Frank Kalkbrenner, corporate VP and head of BIVF, said the new office will allow Boehringer to “collaborate more closely with biotech and startup companies on the West Coast.”

The Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) will invest in startups doing regenerative medicine, infectious disease, and immuno-oncology, among other areas. The venture firm works to spin-out companies from academia, developing projects over a five to seven-year time period. The fund’s staged investments start our small at €0.5-3 million, and can amount to €10-15 million.

BIVF already has 21 companies in its portfolio with a handful of notable exits, including Rigontec (acquired by Merck in a deal worth up to €349 million in 2017).

“The key differentiator for Boehringer Ingelheim’s Venture Fund lies in the close and trusted relationships with the portfolios and entrepreneurs with whom we are privileged to work with,” Kalkbrenner said in a statement. “Through these connections, we’ve successfully developed a number of biotech startups — from creation to exit — and we look forward to the ground-breaking work that lies ahead.”

Over the past few years, corporate VCs have elbowed their way on to the investment scene in biotech, now playing a prominent role. In our recent list of the 50 most active VC funds in 2017, corporate VCs made up 22%.


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