High-tech e-bikes from Germany’s “Solar Valley”: bmp Ventures AG invests in HNF-NICOLAI via IBG-Fonds

Biesenthal, 05.11.2018 – The wind of change is blowing in a former solar panel facility in Bitterfeld- Wolfen. Already in October the HNF group of companies started its production at the well-known high-tech industry base. Yet the expansion into what is known as the German Solar Valley is already the second investment of bmp Ventures AG into German e-bike pioneer Michael Hecken’s rapidly growing business.

"With an excellent infrastructure, ultra-modern production facilities and highly skilled personnel, SunPark and the region provide ideal resources that can keep pace with our rapid growth even in the long term," company founder and managing director Hecken explains. "Given these facts, having bmp Ventures AG as an exceptionally flexible financing partner at our side is an invaluable advantage, particularly since they have known our successful business model for years. After all, it is this long- standing partnership with bmp that gives us enormous competitive momentum. Beyond that, we are of course particularly pleased that bmp was able to acquire funds from the European Structural and Investment Fund for this expansion financing, thus supporting us in creating new jobs in Saxony- Anhalt".

Andreas van Bon, Managing Partner and CFO of bmp Ventures AG, agrees: "bmp has already supported HNF-Nicolai with an early-stage investment in Biesenthal. Now we are pleased that we were able to contribute to HNF-NICOLAI’s expansion financing with funds from IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH".

Ever since 2008, the team of today's HNF GmbH around e-bike pioneer Michael Hecken, frame construction legend Kalle Nicolai and industry expert Benjamin Börries has successfully developed new e- bike concepts in various projects: Both the founding of Grace GmbH with the development of the world's first series-produced e-motorbike and the development of the smart® e-bike for Daimler AG are just two examples of this high-performance team’s innovation power.

The new facilities will open up a whole new range of possibilities for HNF-NICOLAI, not just in terms of a further capacity increase: "Thanks to spacious areas and an outstanding IT infrastructure, we can kick-start with scalable processes right from the beginning here, not even to mention the perfect conditions for a state-of-the-art quality management. This enables us to serve our customers even faster and much more individually," says Hecken.

It is precisely this flexibility that is so paramount for the company - after all, HNF-NICOLAI delivers highly customized eBikes directly to end customers rather than supplying retailers with pre-produced goods, as other bike manufacturers do.

The move into Solar Valley, however, is not only a major gain for HNF-NICOLAI, as the Bitterfeld- Wolfen region also benefits: No fewer than 20 new jobs will be created here in one go. And more are to follow soon. The first employees from the region are now on board, many of them already familiarised themselves with the company’s processes during an extensive onboarding programme it at HNF-NICOLAI’s Biesenthal headquarters.

So with the active help of bmp Ventures AG and IBG Risikokapitalfonds III GmbH & Co. KG, up to 40 bikes a day can soon leave HNF-NICOLAI’s new premises.

About the IBG funds
The IBG funds, based in Magdeburg, are the venture capital funds of the German state of Saxony- Anhalt. The IBG funds provide investment capital for innovative companies with long-term and above-average growth potential that are headquartered in or have a branch office in Saxony-Anhalt. At the start of 2017, IBG set up the new RKF III venture capital fund with a volume of EUR 66 million. The fund is financed by the state and European Union and invests in innovative companies in Saxony- Anhalt in their seed, startup and growth phases. It is open available to company founders, but also SMEs with product or process innovations and good market experience. The IBG funds are managed by bmp Ventures AG, Berlin and Magdeburg.

About bmp Ventures AG
With a background of experience of more than 250 investments in almost all technology segments, the majority of which were early phase, bmp is one of the most experienced venture capital investors in Germany. In addition to direct investments, bmp's activities also include managing venture capital funds for KfW Bankengruppe and DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft. bmp currently manages the IBG funds in Saxony-Anhalt and the Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg. bmp has around 20 employees in Berlin and Magdeburg.

bmp Ventures AG
Andreas van Bon
- Managing Partner -
Tel.: +49-391 532 81 40
Email: avanbon@bmp.com
Internet: www.bmp.com