Netherlands-based venture capital firm VenturesOne Group and Unknown Group, a global innovation agency, have announced the completion of their merger. The newly merged company will be known as Unknown Group, located in The Hague and Singapore.
About Unknown Group
Founded in 2008, Unknown is an early-stage venture capital and business development firm. They believe in unlocking the future business potential by internal and external venturing. “We go beyond known with the founders of impactful ventures. Venturing shoulder to shoulder, with skin in the game, empowering them along their journey with a global scaling network and entrepreneurial expertise,” adds Edward de Jager, Chairman of Unknown Group.
The company has developed a global network in innovation and entrepreneurship and has partnered with more than 200 corporate and governmental organisations to scale open innovation and corporate venturing activities, such as DSM, Fujitsu, and NATO.
Unknown Group’s portfolio includes the Global School for Entrepreneurship – an accredited University of Applied Sciences with a 4-year full-time bachelor program on entrepreneurship, and Cupola XS – knowledge and innovation centre for SME companies in the renovated prison dome of Haarlem, the Netherlands.
Get in the Ring
The agency also organises its own global startup competition, “Get in the Ring”. This competition provides access to startups and talented founders in more than 220 cities, offering a global platform for thousands of founders every year to test, validate and scale their solutions.
“We use the Sustainable Development Goals as a guide to transforming our world using unconventional solutions,” says Get in the Ring.
According to the competition, previous competition winners include Indonesia’s IoT fishfeeding machine maker eFishery, Israel’s grasshopper producer for the food industry Hargol FoodTech and South Korea’s braille smartwatch maker Dot Incorporate each of which has subsequently secured significant investments. It claims that the winner of the competition in 2013, EyeVerify, was acquired by Ant Financial three years later for $100M (approx €83M).
Aim of this merger
“Unknown stands for supporting ventures that are intoxicated by the possibilities of global impact, but are real about forging an organic and sustainable growth path,” says Hendrik Halbe, CEO Unknown Group.
Unknown Group supports founders and industry leaders, and has experience in global startup scouting and corporate venturing, while VenturesOne has investment expertise. With both combined, the ambition is to increase the success rate of innovations that address pressing local and global challenges.
Established in 1986, VenturesOne is a venture capital investment company committed to scaling companies from “nothing, to something, to something great”.
VenturesOne has built a diversified portfolio and investment structure and scaled companies from seed investment to IPO.
Its investment portfolio includes programmatic advertising market leader- JustPremium; mechanical exoskeleton pioneer – Skelex; natural skincare and cosmetics manufacturer – Naif; and provider of data analysis from satellite and aerial imagery – Geospatial Insight; amongst other shareholdings in food, education, and insurtech.