Monday, February 01, 2010

Aster Capital, formally Schneider Electric Ventures, holds closing of new venture capital fund

Aster Capital, formally Schneider Electric Ventures, is pleased to announce the first closing of its second venture capital fund with a commitment of EUR 70 million (US$ 100 million) from two industrial sponsors, Alstom and Schneider Electric.

The mission of Aster Capital is to take minority interests in innovative start-ups based in Europe, North America and Asia, developing new technologies that could lead to major breakthroughs in the fields of energy and the environment.

The two founding sponsors Alstom and Schneider Electric, which are world leaders in their respective businesses, share the aim to support the development of innovative young companies and to nurture cooperation and partnerships for their respective markets.

"This is the first time worldwide that two major industrial groups are associated in a joint initiative of this nature" said Jean-Marc Bally, founder of Schneider Electric Ventures and General Partner of Aster Capital. "This initiative remains open to other industrial and financial partners with a target to raise a total of EUR 120 million to EUR 150 million in the coming months".

"The commitment of two major players such as Alstom and Schneider Electric is a testament to the competence acquired by the Schneider Electric Ventures team since 2000 through the management of its first fund" commented Ignace de Prest, Energy & Cleantech Managing Partner of the fund since 2005. "The team will also benefit strongly from the arrival of two highly-recognised sector experts from Alstom".

"We are extremely happy to join this seasoned team and contribute to the success of Aster Capital" said Alexander Schlaepfer, previously VP Corporate Venturing at Alstom and Philippe Hervy, an expert coming from Alstom Transport.

"With an enhanced team, nearly US$ 200 million in total under management, and the business opportunities to be created with its sponsors, Aster Capital will be able to provide an unfair competitive advantage to its investments" added Benoit Toulouse, Senior Investment
Partner of the fund since 2005.