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Siemens, Europe's biggest engineering company, has launched a $200 million global fund-of-funds to invest in venture capital firms. While the fund will make two-third of its investments in North America, the rest will be used for venture capital and growth capital investments in Europe, Israel and Asia. Half of the commitments for Siemens Global Innovation Partners I GmbH have already been raised from German Siemens pension funds and two leading European insurers.

Siemens has invested in venture capital funds before. It has invested in the likes of Lightspeed Venture Partners, Masdar Clean Tech Fund, Draper Atlantic, among others. Siemens Venture Capital will be the general partner for the fund-of-funds. Siemens appointed Rajesh Vakil

in 2006 to head its investment portfolio in India.

"In contrast to SVC's previous approach, the fund's investment strategy is guided solely by financial criteria. SGIP I offers an extraordinary combination of extensive global expertise building on a strong track record as a fund investor and direct investor in early-stage technology firms," said Dr. Ralf Schnell, Managing Director of Siemens Venture Capital.

There are quite a few corporate venture capital arms active in India. The most active is Intel Capital, which has a $250 million India-dedicated fund. There is Nokia Growth Partners, which invests in companies as well as venture capital funds. There are also the likes of Motorola Ventures, SAP Ventures, T-Mobile Ventures who are active in India.

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