26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Markus Solibieda, managing director, BASF Venture Capital
Markus Solibieda is managing director (MD) of BASF Venture Capital, a corporate venturing subsidiary of Germany-based chemicals producer BASF.
Formed in 2000 as one of the earliest corporate venturing programmes in Germany, the unit now oversees a €250m (about $300m) evergreen fund and concentrates on seed to series B deals in areas including new materials, agricultural technology, digitisation and industry 4.0, in addition to innovative business models.
Headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany, BASF Venture Capital has offices in the US cities of Austin and Boston, in addition to Shanghai, China; São Paulo, Brazil; Mumbai, India; and Tel Aviv, Israel.
Soon after Solibieda came on board, he told Global Corporate Venturing in an interview in early 2017: “The time to market in the chemicals and new materials space is much longer than in typical venture capital deals. There are no quick flips and easy gains.
“Investing in our industry requires focus, knowledge, tenacity and patience. At the same time, the lessons learned from working with young companies were always appreciated by our organisation. This is why BASF was able to build such a stable track record.”
The unit’s portfolio companies include quantum software developer Zapata Computing, intelligent mining software developer IntelliSense.io, interior design technology developer InDeco China and non-genetically modified seeds developer Equinom.
Sustainable chemical product developer P2 Science, energy storage system provider ESS, sensor technology developer Hummingbird Technologies, non-toxic pesticide developer Provivi and lithium-ion composite materials supplier Group14 Technologies are also among its portfolio.
BASF Venture Capital has also made limited partner commitments to Brazilian VC firm SP Ventures’ AgVentures II, US-headquartered startup accelerator Alchemist Accelerator, China-based CM Venture Capital’s CM Fund II, Tsing Capital’s China Environment Fund IV and Longwater Investment’s Longwater Advanced Materials Fund, as well as the German state-backed High-Tech Gründerfonds.
Most of the team rotate into and out of BASF’s business units and former members have populated many of the corporate venturing units, with Bernhard Mohr now head of Evonik Venture Capital, part of the eponymous speciality chemicals provider, while Konrad Augustin is an MD of energy utility Eon’s venture capital platform, Future Energy Ventures, and Sven Harmsen is director of external ventures for Nova, glassmaker Saint-Gobain’s strategic investment arm.
Solibieda joined the unit in late 2016 after almost four years at Mandarin Capital where he headed its Frankfurt office. The firm focuses on growth-stage businesses in Europe that are planning to expand into China. He was responsible for the firm’s fundraising activities from European and US investors.
Previously, he co-founded healthcare-focused growth capital fund Baigo Capital, where he served as managing director for more than two years.
Solibieda began his professional career in the venture capital team of private equity firm Deutsche Beteiligungs before moving to Advent International and 3i in Frankfurt and London.
Solibieda had been chief financial officer of smart cards, RFID technology and semiconductor component provider ACG from 1999 to 2002. He holds a degree in business administration from the European Business School.