INX International Ink has established INX Venture Capital as a vehicle to make minority investments in technology and materials science start-ups with strategic relevance to the printing inks and coatings value chain.

INX Venture Capital will be a $50 million investment programme, and will focus on categories like sustainability and the circular economy, digital printing, business and manufacturing automation, and services for brand owners. In terms of digital printing, its remit covers direct-to-object printing, and novel inkjet technologies and inks.

The investment vehicle is stage agnostic, with an emphasis on early stage start-ups that have demonstrated ‘product market fit’, and have begun to generate revenue. The fund will also pursue select seed and growth stage opportunities. Typical checks will range from $1-3 million initially, with reserves for follow-up investments.

INX Venture Capital will have a global investment mandate, with an emphasis on opportunities in its core markets of North America, Europe, and South America, in concert with Sakata INX’s worldwide innovation efforts.

Shane Bertsch, vice president of strategic planning and innovation at INX International Ink, said, ‘Our corporate venture capital programme represents an expansion of INX’s innovation toolkit, furthering our mission of leading the printing inks and coatings industry in delivering safe and sustainable solutions that enhance the customer experience. We’re eager to marry our focus of creating value for customers, brands, and consumers with our curiosity for new technologies and business models.’

The company’s chief financial officer, Bryce Kristo, added, ‘As one of the largest ink manufacturing companies in the world, we believe our technical expertise and industry relationships can help entrepreneurs build great companies that create a positive impact on consumers’ lives and our planet. We are excited to deploy INX’s resources to help our portfolio companies scale.’

The fund is jointly run with Touchdown Ventures, a provider of corporate venture capital managed services. Scott Lenet, Touchdown co-founder and president, noted, ‘We are enthusiastic about the capital investment, industry expertise, and operational excellence that INX can bring to its portfolio companies. We believe INX Venture Capital will be an ideal partner for entrepreneurs and venture investors seeking to launch and scale innovative new technologies that are applicable to printing inks and coatings.’