Capricorn Venture Partners NV was established in early 1993 as a joint venture between Dr Jos. B. Peeters and Baring Venture Partners Ltd, In December 1999 Professor Philippe Haspeslagh, the chairman of Capricorn Venture Partners and Jos acquired the shares held by Barings (then ING) and the company has since been operating as a fully partner-owned independent management company.
In February 2012, Philippe and Jos acquired 100 percent of the shares of Quest Management NV, the investment manager of Quest for Growth, public privak and the investment advisor of the Quest Management Cleantech Sicav and merged it into Capricorn Venture Partners NV.
In 2016, Capricorn Venture Partners obtained its license as management company under the Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive (AIFMD). The company has continued to retain and attract talented investment managers and partners and has built a strong deal support, business development and administrative support team, including an independent valuation expert, experienced internal legal counsel.
Since 2018 the ownership of Capricorn Venture Partners was further expanded with a number of key executives becoming shareholders of the company.
Before the current sector specialised venture funds were established, Capricorn Venture Partners managed two generalist venture funds: Capricorn Venture Fund I and Capricorn Venture Fund II. Both funds were early-stage, multisector venture capital funds, with a portfolio of companies active in ICT, life sciences (healthcare and biotechnology) and advanced materials.
The first Capricorn fund, Capricorn Venture Fund I, was established in January 1995 and had € 22.3 million of committed capital. More than half of the committed capital came from entrepreneur-investors from Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. The balance was raised from a range of well-established institutional investors, including Atlas Investeringsgroep, Sitra, Artesia Bank (now part of Belfius Bank), and the European Investment Fund.
A total of 14 investments were made by this fund, 8 of which were in ICT, 3 in biotechnology, 2 in healthcare (both with a strong advanced materials component) and 1 in cleantech. 10 portfolio companies were located in Belgium, 1 in France, 1 in the Netherlands and 2 in the U.S.. Five of these companies (Innogenetics, Orthovita, Devgen, Omrix Biopharmaceuticals and BioAlliance Pharma) managed an IPO and three had a trade sale (Enfocus, FillFactory, EcoPhos).
In 2001, Capricorn Venture Fund II was created with a total accumulated capital of € 22 million. Investors include KBC Private Equity, Leuven Research & Development, the interface unit of the University of Leuven, Temasek and a group of successful technology entrepreneurs.
The fund made three investments in the biotechnology and life science sectors and three in information technology. One company, TiGenix had a successful IPO on Euronext , Boondoggle provided liquidity through a management buy-out and Amplexor had a trade sale.