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Capricorn invests in companies with impact

Capricorn Partners invests in innovative, growing companies whose technology has a positive impact on people and the planet. It does so as an independent manager of venture and growth capital and listed equity funds.

We spoke to Marc Lambrechts, investment director at Capricorn Partners, on the role of intellectual property in investment.

“In total, we manage more than €500 million. With our own Capricorn funds and through the listed fund Quest for Growth, we invest in promising start-ups and scale-ups. Our main investment areas right now are digital, health and clean technologies. Think of companies with technologies that apply data, for example with AI.

Or technology that helps prevent diseases and clean technology, which reduces or eliminates the impact on the planet. But if opportunities arise, we can add other areas. We keep a close eye on emerging trends.”

Financial return and strategic value 

By investing in innovative companies that have a positive impact on the world, Capricorn wants to create both financial returns and strategic value. “We mainly focus on initial investments of an average of €1 to €3 million, with which we want to help start-ups and growing companies with a ‘sustainable business’ to grow further.”

Intellectual property counts

“When we make a decision about an investment, intellectual property (IP) is taken into account. We believe that IP is important at every stage of a venture capital investment: as a source of information when selecting a company, during the period of the investment, but also during the ‘exit’, when a company is acquired, for example. We look beyond the patents that a company may already have; It also covers trademarks, trade secrets and contracts. What matters to us is that it is a strong and ‘clean’ intellectual property, without limitations. In doing so, we prefer that the company has full ownership of their invention or technology.”

Freedom to operate is ‘key’  

“Especially at the start of an investment, determining the freedom to operate (FTO) is essential: can a company develop and commercialize a new product, process or technology without infringing on existing IP rights of others? If a start-up shows an understanding of IP in this, it increases the chance of a deal. We investigate this thoroughly, regularly with a double-check by an external expert such as V.O.”

Find out more about Capricorn at

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