COFIDES holds shares in Kibo Ventures V Fund III, a venture capital vehicle geared to investing in tech firms to favour their growth and international expansion. Its M€5 holding was purchased with FONPYME fund.
Sonia Fernández, Kibo Ventures partner, reports that this venture capital fund invests primarily in tech firms in A series rounds, i.e., when they are raising seed capital and have shown their product to be marketplace-ready. ’Our task is to provide support in the scale-up stage and help internationalise the business,’ she explains. The fund adopts a generous view of eligibility, although the companies selected must have an obvious technological component and operate in a digital environment. Since 2012 the fund has invested in a bevy of industries, from sectors such as cybersecurity, digital education, mobility and logistics, artificial intelligence and big data, to SaaS models in areas including HR, training and fintech to name a few.
‘Today more than ever, innovation and technology drive growth’
Sonia Fernández, Kibo Ventures partner
Internationalisation is an essential component in Kibo Ventures investments. ‘We come in when companies are commercialising their products, as a rule on the local market after detecting a need for their product/service, and our task is to help them scale up by entering the international marketplace’ she contends. One of the basic investment criteria is that targets must have global scale output capacity and clearly international ambitions: ‘As a fund we can help them find the optimal staff, commercial and operating structures for international success. We assess projects in terms of the solutions they propose for real market problems and their capacity to become genuine sector benchmarks’. When selecting a target Kibo Ventures attaches utmost importance to the component that distinguishes the technology-based service or product. ‘We seek to understand how taking this technology and strategy to market will afford the company potential sector benchmark status’, explains Sonia Fernández
The name Kibo means ‘full of hope’ in Japanese, a trait that characterises Sonia Fernández, for ‘we feel product to be able to contribute to the technological development of Spanish companies that blossom into international benchmarks. We fortunately have plenty of talent and access to excellent, well-trained engineers who inspire an optimistic vision of our potential to build very sound projects from Spain’.
In that regard she believes progress in innovation and technology will continue to be essential to creating jobs and benchmark companies in our society. ‘Today more than ever, innovation and technology drive growth’, Fernández contents.
Sonia Fernández notes that the companies hosting fund investment normally benefit from other funding. ‘One of the most prominent values we provide is advice and help to conduct the next funding round. Thereafter, given their larger size, international funds lead those rounds’. After investing in over 50 companies, Kibo has established extensive relationships with the major international funds working out of Europe and the United States.