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European VC firms Amadeus and Apex form €80m early-stage “deep tech” fund

Amadeus Capital Partners of the U.K. and Apex Ventures of Austria are forming a deep tech startup fund.

The Amadeus Apex Technology Fund has raised €28 million ($30 million) with plans to raise €80 million ($85 million). The fund’s first investment was $1 million in German space startup Okapi-seed Orbits’s funding round’s second closing.

Apex partners Andreas Riegler and Wolfgang Neubert join Amadeus co-founders Anne Glover and Hermann Hauser on the fund’s investment team.

The Amadeus Apex Technology Fund invests €1-1.5 million in seed and Series A startups with “unique and defendable technology” in AI, quantum computing, mobility and outer space, robotics, and other deep tech fields. The fund will focus on the DACH region, which includes Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but it may also venture into nearby markets, excluding the U.K.

Riegler told TechCrunch that the partnership allows early-stage investments in other European markets outside the U.K., such as Poland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, which are on our radar for quantum tech, photonics, and AI. We chose this region because of its top universities and large developer pool, making it ideal for early-stage deep tech innovation. Deep tech funding is low, creating a huge growth opportunity.”

Amadeus Capital Partners, based in Cambridge, U.K., has made more than 260 investments in 25 years, including network security company Forescout, which was acquired by a pair of private equity firms for $1.9 billion in 2020, and self-driving startup FiveAI, which Bosch acquired last year. Since its founding in Vienna six years ago, Apex Ventures has made 40 investments, including a €2.7 million investment in German biophotonics startup Refined Laser Systems.

Despite their different histories, both VC firms have been investing in deep tech on their own, so why partner up on this new fund?

“We have collaborated with [Amadeus Capital’s] Hermann Hauser for many years—he was an investor in our [Apex’s] first fund and an advisory board member of the firm, and we have multiple joint investments,” Riegler said. This forged a close relationship with Amadeus Capital Partners. Apex Ventures’ local expertise, deal flow, and syndication experience helped the Amadeus team expand their early-stage footprint in Europe.

Apex, a newer VC than Amadeus, draws on 25 years of investment experience.

“We greatly benefit from over 25 years of experience and a deep tech network,” Riegler said.

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