WHEB Ventures

pioneers in European clean technology

Stanford – Jan 4, 2010

Introducing WHEB Ventures
A cleantech pioneer and one of the leading specialist VC firms in Europe


Team Size Fund Size

 2 offices (London and Munich).  9 investment professionals and 2 venture partners.  £114 million of assets under management across two funds:  Fund 1 (2004/5 vintage): £24m; 8 investments and closed for new deals. LPs are exclusively family offices.  Fund 2 (2008/9 vintage): £90m with a final closing target of £150 million and £200 million max size; 5 investments. LPs include European Investment Fund and Banco Espirito Santo plus American and European family offices of which many are also LPs in Fund 1.


 Most of fund 2 will be invested in Europe, particularly in Germany and the UK.  Investments may be made elsewhere but only with hands-on, local VC partners and only in deals to which WHEB can add value in Europe.  Capital efficient companies in the growth stage

WHEB’s current investments


Although almost 50% of WHEB’s deal flow is in energy sectors, risk/reward ratio (mainly valuation) has been better in less “popular” areas but this might now change making renewable energy generation more attractive. Energy Generation Energy Efficiency & Storage Clean Industrial Processes Waste Water


Outlook 2010


 “Kissing many frogs”, painful, not effective, Q2 2010 1ill be busy (glad we are done in March!)  Few strategic M&A, high bar on IPO, cash is king, EBITDA multiples rather than revenue multiples  Stay away from themes! More smart grid, disappointments on e-Mobility  Cash is king, banks are busy with themselves (paying boni and defending them), low EBITDA multiples, distressed sellers     Continue to buy cheap More majority ownerships in profitable companies Stay away from themes Continue to globalize the portfolio


Themes Opportunities


* Based on analysis of WHEB’s in-house, proprietary database of venture and expansion capital investment rounds and cleantech exits from 1 January 2003 to 30 June 2009.


Jörg “George” Sperling
Jörg Sperling – Partner (Munich)


 Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering – University of Aachen, Germany  Research at AT&T Bell Laboratories (New Jersey) and at Israel’s Institute of Technology (Technion) on III-V-Semiconductors Crystal Growth  10 years VC experience; 6 years in Silicon Valley (Infineon Ventures and Ridgewood Capital)  Experienced Deal maker (22 as of today), active board member (16 as of today)  Invested together with top tier venture firms such as Goldman Sachs, Greylock, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia, Telesoft, Lightspeed, USVP and others  Operational roles in the semiconductor industry (most recently VP Sales Global of ZMD AG)  Speaks fluent German and English, some lousy French and Spanish and 100 words of Hebrew  German and US citizenship  Previously advising Fraunhofer Gesellschaft on Spin-off projects. Fraunhofer has 56 research institutes in 40 different locations with a total of 13’000 researchers  Juror and Coach in the Munich Business Plan Competition (Germany’s largest)  Juror and Coach in the Swiss Business Plan Competition Venture.ch  Lives with wife and three true “Silicon Valley native” children in Munich (one child born on Stanford campus)



Location Company Activity Key Attractions

 Limerick, Ireland.  Integrated IT system comprising both software and hardware that transforms the efficiency of the waste collection industry.  Attractive business model combining up-front revenues with annually recurring revenues.  Strong market traction and potential for rapid revenue growth with blue-chip waste operators rolling the technology out across their vehicle fleets.  The company generated €5m in revenue in 2008 and plans to generate €8.1m in 2009.  Entering the US market, expansion in the UK and Scandinavia.  Strengthening the management team and extending product range.

Track Record & Plans


 Led the investment syndicate for €5.75m round.  Made introductions to new customers and a new Chairman of the Board who will guide the future business strategy.


Location Company Activity

 Headquartered in Lidköping, Sweden with a second plant in Âs, Czech Republic.  Polyethylene terephalate (“PET”) packaging specialist. Petainer has long term contracts with blue chip customers to supply PET bottles and valuable technical expertise in the design and manufacture of multi-use PET bottles, the use of recycled PET material and “light-weighting” bottles . Petainer has recently developed large PET containers for distribution and dispensing of beer in an environmentally friendly manner.  Established, profitable business with long term contracts with blue chip customers.  Growth capital opportunity from the new large container products.  Low acquisition price, equivalent to approximately 2.3x current year EBITDA and opportunity to undertake a leveraged recapitalisation of the business thanks to strong cash flows and excellent asset backing (possibly through a sale and leaseback of land and buildings).  Company has cash generative track record and now expects to grow revenues and margins through the introduction of new large container products.  Co-led the investment on behalf of the syndicate.  Pro-active participation in the integration of the buy in team with existing management and the recruitment of an independent Chairman

Key Attractions

Track Record & Plans WHEB Role



Location Company Activity

 Headquartered in Starnberg at Starnberg lake near Munich, Germany  Torqeedo develops and distributes high-end electric outboard motors with less than 10hp (horsepower), using torque motors, high efficiency LIMA battery cells, advanced electronics, superior drive train technology, and state of the art propellers, resulting in a product that is consistently rated as a top buy in its markets. Due to the small size of motor and electronics, Torqeedo can offer an integrated drive system with extremely low weight, low volume, high power, and high efficiency.  Inexpensive play in the mega-trend of electric mobility  Team has shown rapid execution and capitalization on a market opportunity, growing the sales of their high end product by 25% in 2009 when sales in the marine market shrank by 40% in the same year  Break even can be reached with current technologies, international markets and regulation will fuel growth, and advances in battery technology provide for a potentially large upside  A large number of potential trade buyers exists, and the market is currently overlooked by other cleantech investors.  Company has revenue growing track record and now expects to grow revenues and margins through the introduction of new products.  Lead the investment  Introduced the chairman

Key Attractions

Track Record & Plans WHEB Role


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