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Breaking Boundaries in Deeptech with: IQ CAPITAL




In the dynamic realm of venture capital, IQ Capital stands out as a trailblazer, navigating deep technology investments for over two decades. Founded in 2006, the firm's enduring success is rooted in a core philosophy of identifying and supporting groundbreaking deep tech companies. We will be taking an especially close look at some of their investments based in transport and logistics. Meet the visionary leaders shaping IQ Capital's impact in deep-tech venture capital, and join us in unravelling their journey of innovation and strategic investments that are shaping the future of technology.


Written by: Tanay Sonawane, Varshith Uppalapati and Jasper Wigley


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CORE INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY


IQ Capital's core investment philosophy is a testament to its more than two decades of experience and dedication to driving innovation in the realm of deep technology. The firm's strategic approach is marked by a commitment to identifying and investing in pioneering deep tech companies with defensible intellectual property, breakthrough technologies, and global ambitions.

 

At the heart of IQ Capital's philosophy is a holistic support system for founders. From the Seed stage to the Growth fund, the firm actively engages with portfolio companies, providing not only capital but also leveraging a team enriched with Ph.D.-level expertise. This comprehensive support spans various facets of business development, including deep tech development, commercialization, marketing, sales, talent acquisition, and strategic initiatives. IQ Capital's initial investments, ranging from £0.5m to £10m, underscore its dedication to disruptive deep tech sectors such as generative AI, advanced engineering, space-tech, and cyber and data security, while the Growth Fund, with a capacity to invest up to £30m, ensures sustained support for companies in their internationalisation efforts. In essence, IQ Capital's core investment philosophy intertwines financial backing with a deep understanding of technology and market dynamics, fostering a partner-centric journey for portfolio companies to thrive in the evolving landscape of deep tech innovation.






PORTFOLIO COMPANIES




Among the remarkable companies backed by IQ Capital, Nyobolt shines as a leader in revolutionizing high-powered batteries. Developed through research at the University of Cambridge, Nyobolt's batteries bring a game-changing boost in power and super-fast charging. Nyobolt provides two technologies, both of which push electric charging further than ever before. Nyobolt Ultra and Xtreme, allow charging speeds between 6 to 10 minutes and as quick as 1 to 5 minutes. The batteries themselves can do 20,000 cycles without degradation and an electric vehicle powered by a Nyobolt battery can charge fully in 6 minutes. Such figures are really impressive and if applied to our global transport haulage networks will streamline electric transportation greater.


Having expanded its global presence with teams in the UK, the US, and Asia, Nyobolt addresses the worldwide demand for more effective battery usage. IQ Capital's strategic Series A investment in Nyobolt in 2021 not only propelled the company to new heights but also exemplifies the fund's commitment to supporting technologies at the forefront of sustainable energy solutions.




Another noteworthy success within IQ Capital's portfolio lies in the realm of integrated electric vehicle charging solutions, ChargePoint Services. This venture, successfully acquired by ENGIE (a global energy leader) highlights IQ Capital's keen ability to identify and support businesses with disruptive potential in the ever-evolving clean energy sector. ChargePoint provides AC charging for businesses, further developing the push for electric drivetrains in logistics. ChargePoint has activated 274,000 charging points in total and over half a million ports that utilise roaming technology, showing significant success in their mission so far. The provision of software services to manage your EV charging portfolio is also provided by ChargePoint, streamlining management of fleets and commerical vehicles. The strategic alignment between the portfolio company and ENGIE underscores IQ Capital's foresight in selecting promising startups.


As IQ Capital continues to foster innovation through strategic investments, these portfolio companies exemplify the fund's commitment to supporting groundbreaking technologies. Each investment represents a step toward a more sustainable and efficient future, showcasing the tangible impact IQ Capital has on shaping industries at the forefront of technological advancement.







THE TEAM

 

IQ Capital stands out as a real trailblazer, and at its helm is a seasoned and visionary team.

 





Kerry Baldwin

 

Co-founder of IQ Capital in 2006, Kerry Baldwin is the driving force behind the firm's success, boasting over two decades of deep-tech venture capital experience. As the Chair of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, she is a recognized international advisor and speaker on venture capital, deep tech ecosystems, research, and innovation. Baldwin's expertise extends to the first wave of UK deep tech companies, where she invested with Venture Technologies in 1998. Leading IQ's cybersecurity, climate tech, supervisory tech, big data, and neuro-tech portfolio, her strategic acumen and board roles in companies like Risilience, CyberSmart, and Divido underscore her commitment to shaping the future of deep tech investments.




 

Max Bautin

 

A co-founder since 2006, Max Bautin is the architect behind IQ Capital's remarkable exits, driving top decile returns. With a track record that includes notable exits like Grapeshot (Oracle) and Neul (Huawei), his strategic prowess is reflected in his current board representation for seed investments now valued collectively at over $4bn. As a member of Invest Europe (EVCA) Venture Capital Council, Bautin's influence extends beyond the boardroom, making him a sought-after speaker at European conferences and a policy advisor.





 

Ed Stacey

 

A co-founder with over 20 years of deep-tech venture capital experience, Ed Stacey brings a unique blend of engineering and entrepreneurial insight to IQ Capital. His focus on disruptive technology, product-market fit, and business strategy is evident in his work with companies like Paragraf, Speechmatics, and TurinTech. Stacey's contributions to Forbes reflect his passion for identifying and understanding key disruptive technologies, making him a driving force in shaping the narrative around the impacts of emerging technologies.




 

Simon Hirtzel

 

As the General Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Simon Hirtzel is instrumental in IQ Capital's strategic development and operational efficiency. With over 30 years of management and financial experience, his role involves managing IQ Capital's operations, fostering communications with investors, and providing crucial deal-level support to portfolio companies. His previous roles at Kreos Capital and the PA Group underscore his wealth of experience in managing and growing financial assets.

 






Andy Phillips


Venture Partner Andy Phillips brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience to IQ Capital. Co-founder of Active Hotels, which later merged to form Booking.com, his journey from startup to successful exit showcases his deep understanding of the business landscape. His active role as a board director and adviser to tech ventures, coupled with his entrepreneurial background, adds a valuable dimension to IQ Capital's ecosystem.




 

John Snyder

 

A venture partner with a rich history in information retrieval and keyword technology, John Snyder has a proven track record of successful exits. His leadership at Grapeshot, which was acquired by Oracle, and previous roles at the Cambridge University Entrepreneurship Centre and the East of England Development Agency highlight his commitment to fostering innovation. Snyder's ongoing involvement in teaching and mentoring at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School reflects his dedication to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs.

 

Together, this stellar team at IQ Capital exemplifies a diverse and experienced group of professionals steering the firm towards continued success in the ever-evolving landscape of deep-tech venture capital. Their individual expertise and collective vision make IQ Capital a powerhouse in the industry, driving innovation, and shaping the future of technology investments.

 

CONCLUSION


In this article, we have explored the multi-decade success of IQ, which serves as an example for emerging funds. There is no pre-defined recipe for how to make a success of DeepTech investment, but as blueprints go, there are few better than IQ to try and emulate. The funds combine a diverse set of experience across the partners and management team, that captures both strong business acumen and technical expertise. Moreover, their investment success speaks for themselves. Launching a number of funds over the last two decades, IQ has been at the heart of European Deeptech success, and with regard to logistics, this is no less true.



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