26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Ingo Ramesohl and Philipp Rose, co-managing directors of Robert Bosch Venture Capital
Ingo Ramesohl and Philipp Rose are managing directors of Germany-based industrial technology and appliance producer Robert Bosch’s corporate venture capital (CVC) subsidiary, Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC).
Ramesohl said: “We are looking for the kind of disruptive innovations that could turn a market completely upside down. We want to make the Bosch divisions aware of them, with the ultimate aim of securing and expanding our innovation leadership.”
Formed in 2007, RBVC is tasked with identifying emerging technologies on behalf of Bosch. The unit currently has a portfolio of about 30 startups globally, with its share ranging from 5% to 25%. However, Ramesohl noted RBVC’s aim was not about nurturing rivals, but about investing in complementary technologies or business models.
The key is to be active and directly involve Bosch in the startup ecosystem through RBVC in a bid to uncover the latest trends and emerging disruptions. The unit’s goal is not acquiring startups but to help portfolio companies grow and achieve an exit event.
RBVC, which has hundreds of millions of euros set aside for tech investments in three funds, backs startups in different sectors, regions and stages. Rose added: “All in all, for each fund we have to get back more than we put in.”
As a notable example, Bosch exited vision processing technology producer Movidius when it was acquired by semiconductor technology manufacturer Intel in September 2016. RBVC had taken part in the company’s $40m series E round in April 2015. Although the transaction amount was undisclosed, Bosch said it was “at many times the original price”.
RBVC is currently deploying its third fund, originally announced in 2016, of €150m ($171m), but In February 2019 announced a fourth fund with €200m of capital. The third is focused on deep-tech startups in artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and enabled RBVC to push into China, where it focuses on strengthening and extending its activities led by team members including partner Hongquan Jiang and Xiaoguang Sun, China-based head of VC.
Regarding RBVC’s strategy, Ramesohl told Global Corporate Venturing in an interview held in March 2019: “Our methodology is very similar to most of the institutional venture funds. We invest in Bosch-relevant fields, such as AI, IoT or automated driving. Therefore our investments focus on series A, B and C. In some exceptional cases we also do seed deals.”
RBVC, like most other corporate venturing units, sources its deals through its network. That dealflow is then relayed to the parent, where RBVC serves as the intermediary, matching startups with Bosch’s business units. In turn, Bosch provides its expertise to RBVC for deal assessments and to startups for temporary product and engineering support.
“RBVC has a perfect combination of a corporate venture firm with processes like an institutional fund. We feel the power of the Bosch expertise on the one hand in all kind of technical and market areas. On the other hand, the partner structure of RBVC makes our decisions extremely fast. We enjoy a form of independence that enables us to act so,” Ramesohl continued.
“All portfolio companies have or have had a Bosch relevance at the time of our initial investment. In very few cases, the strategy of the company or that of the relevant Bosch unit is changing so the strategic fit is lowered. In these cases, we always stick to our companies and support them until we have an exit.”