Robert Habeck
KfW Capital

KfW Capital

"How innovation drives the German economy“

KfW Capital in focus with Dr Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Mr. Federal Minister, KfW Capital was launched in the market five years ago. One of the goals of establishing a German institution specialising in venture capital was to significantly expand public venture capital in order to improve funding conditions for start-ups. Why are start-ups so important for future competitiveness and the transformation of the economy?

ROBERT HABECK: Germany is a strong business location. In order to continue developing this location and rise up to the challenge of the transformation, many technologies have yet to be developed. Start-ups provide the impetus for this. That is why they and their technologies are so enormously important, and I am delighted that KfW Capital has been contributing very decisively to strengthening their funding for five years now!

The start-up strategy of the Federal Republic just had its first anniversary. What has been achieved so far, and where do you see the greatest additional needs?

HABECK: In the area of start-up finance we have achieved a great deal to strengthen start-ups and funds. We have also taken important steps and made good progress in recruiting talent, for example with the Skilled Immigration Act. What we need now is to further simplify visa issuance procedures. Important next steps include a comprehensive package for reforming public procurement legislation, which should make it more innovative and better geared to the needs of start-ups. In order to increase the diversity of start-ups, we will soon launch a new module under the Future Fund that will be specifically available for diverse venture capital funds. We will improve the conditions for start-ups and venture capital investors with these and other measures of the start-up strategy to make Germany an attractive start-up nation in the heart of Europe.

KfW Capital

invests in German and European venture capital funds that invest in companies in the growth phase in Germany and thus strengthen their capital base..

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KfW Capital coordinates the Future Fund on behalf of the Federal Government. In what way do you expect it to boost the market?

HABECK: With the Future Fund we are strengthening the venture capital market on a broad front, which includes addressing key topics aimed at also increasing engagement by equity capital providers. Specifically, we expect the EUR 10 billion of the Future Fund to spur additional private investment, so that the overall effect on the market will amount to around EUR 30 billion in investments. This means, for example, investments in deep tech, in other words, important technologies that may potentially transform entire economic sectors.

My wish for KfW Capital's fifth birthday is…

HABECK: …that as a model investor it may continue to provide important impetus for the venture capital market and start-ups in Germany and Europe in the future as well. I'm pleased that in this role, KfW Capital will remain a key partner of the Federal Republic in strengthening and refining the German venture capital market with the Future Fund.

Published on KfW Stories on 12 October 2023.