The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order by company): Lutz Stoeber, Evonik Venture Capital
Lutz Stoeber is an investment director at Evonik Venture Capital (EVC), the corporate venture capital (CVC) unit of the Germany-based chemicals company. He has been in that role for three years now, while he also continues as the North American investment manager for EVC, a role he has been in since 2012.
For Stoeber, keeping things fresh is vitally important: “One of the biggest challenge for corporate investors is undoubtedly internal in nature. Maintaining consistent and ongoing business unit engagement is a key challenge we engage daily.
“The benefit is that over time the business units start to see the value of having an externally focused innovation arm and rely increasingly on us with the expertise we bring.”
EVC have been on their toes. January last year saw EVC as the lead investor for Nanotech Industrial Solutions’ funding round – the amount the round raised for the US-based oil additives producer is still undisclosed.
In February, EVC took part in Wiivv’s series A round that raised $4m for the US-based 3D printed footwear provider.
Evonik also announced it had provided an undisclosed amount of financing for Hosen Capital Fund III, the newest fund to be raised by China-based private equity firm Hosen Capital.
In May, EVC joined Germay-based biotechnology company Numafern’s seed round, again for an undisclosed amount. Numafern develops peptides for use in healthcare and as specialty additives.
Stoeber enjoys the industry. He told GCV last year: “Corporate venturing has dramatically matured over the past few years. Especially around topics such as when to engage corporate investors, the financing discipline of corporate investors are improved and the engagement of corporate investors with venture businesses.
“Although there are still misperceptions around the role of CVCs and disagreements around valuations that CVCs need to entertain, I believe CVCs are astute enough to show the significant value that they bring apart from the investment. This strategic value is often not reflected and recognised enough.”
He previously worked in two stints at hedge fund and alternative investment manager Pardus Capital Management, latterly as a senior analyst to evaluate distressed investments in Western Europe, focusing on Germany.
Stoeber had left Pardus in 2008 during a period when it had halted redemptions on its $2bn hedge fund during the credit crunch. He has “significant financial analysis, private equity and leveraged buyout experience, with particular expertise in chemicals, basic manufacturing and shipping”, Pardus said in April 2010 when he rejoined ahead of its planned distressed debt fundraising. He had originally joined Pardus when Karim Samii and Joseph Thornton set it up in 2005, as all three had previously worked at distressed debt investment firm WR Huff.
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