Henkel is expanding its corporate venture capital activities with the introduction of Henkel Ventures, which will manage investments in start-ups and venture capital funds.
Led by an experienced management team, Henkel Ventures will focus on investing a total amount of up to 150 million EUR (163.2 million USD) in start-ups with specific digital or technological expertise.
Henkel already has investments of more than 25 million EUR (27.2 million USD) in a number of start-ups and venture capital funds.
In its Beauty Care and Laundry & Home Care consumer businesses, the focus will be primarily on digital – from the Internet of Things to social media, e-commerce, and personalized products and services. For Henkel’s Adhesive Technologies business, technology innovations such as 3D printing, functional coatings and printed electronics are to be of particular interest.
The team will also actively evaluate and manage equity investments and joint development projects with start-up companies in order to explore new technologies, applications and business models in areas of strategic interest to Henkel. Start-up businesses will benefit from the collaboration with Henkel Ventures through access to Henkel’s global footprint and long-term experience.
Dr Robert Günther, a member of Henkel Ventures’ core team along with Dr Paolo Bavaj, Esther Kumpan-Bahrami and Thomas Schuffenhauer, explained: ‘With Henkel Ventures, we are combining our corporate venture capital activities across our three business units, adhesive technologies, beauty care, and laundry and home care.
‘We are partnering with start-ups, helping them to successfully develop their innovative ideas and technologies. We offer a deep understanding of customers and consumers worldwide, a portfolio of leading brands as well as strong expertise in bringing innovations and new technologies to markets.’
Henkel’s Adhesive Technologies business invested in total around 10 million EUR in two material science-focused venture capital funds from Emerald Technology Ventures and Pangaea Ventures. Furthermore, the business has already made direct investments in two material science start-ups – Vitriflex and DropWise. Additionally, the Laundry & Home Care business unit invested in the online dry cleaners and laundry service ZipJet.