Corporate venturing has played a "very active" role in helping develop nascent German businesses seeded by the state’s early stage fund.

Alexander von Frankenberg, managing director of High-Tech Gründerfonds, said companies had provided more than a fifth of the €250m in follow-on funding to the 205 companies it had seeded over the previous five year.

He said at the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s conference that the Gruenderfonds had initially provided these companies with €102m, at an average of €500,000 per business, as seed money with the idea that private money would then come in at a later, lower-risk stage with follow-on investment.

He said the Gründerfonds only provided €19m of this follow-on money with 61% coming from venture capital firms, 21% companies and 18% business angels.

Von Frankenberg added: "Companies, such as Robert Bosch and BASF, have been very active both from their corporate venturing groups and…

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