RWE Innogy, the renewable energy division of Germany-based energy company the RWE Group, and Conetwork Erneuerbare Energien (CEE), the equity investment division of private bank Banke Lamphaus, sealed a venture capital collaboration agreement on Monday. As part of the deal, CEE has paid €25m ($33.8m) for a 22% stake in the Innogy Renewables Technology Fund (IRTF). With CEE’s investment, the volume of financing in the IRTF is now above $155m with the fund’s portfolio consisting of nine companies. The fund is looking to expand to a total of 14 businesses by the time it matures in 2018. CEE will also acquire a 25.1% stake in the fund’s general partner, Innogy Venture Capital and a seat on its investment committee. Innogy Venture Capital generally invests in renewable energy resources and efficiency and storage technology on behalf of RWE Innogy, and now CEE. IRTF’s portfolio currently encompasses wind, solar, hydro and biomass as well as storage and enabling technology. Fritz Vahrenholt, chief executive officer, said: "RWE Innogy now ranks among Europe’s leading venture capital investors in renewables. Our partnership with CEE aptly illustrates that our investment strategy is on precisely the right lines. It also enables us to base the fund even more broadly." Vaahrenholt continued: "Not only is this a success for Innogy Venture Capital and its portfolio companies: it also marks a significant step towards developing the new technologies we urgently need to convert our power supply in Germany and Europe-wide."

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