Montana backs Transamerica VC spin-out

The secondaries firm has gained exposure to a portfolio of around 20 high-growth businesses in the fintech and insurtech sectors.

Montana Capital Partners has backed the spin-out of a venture capital team from an iconic US insurer.

The Baar, Switzerland-headquartered firm provided capital to acquire a portfolio of nearly 20 high-growth businesses in the fintech and insurtech sectors from Transamerica, which wanted to divest a non-core area of its business, according to a statement seen by Secondaries Investor.

The portfolio was acquired by the vehicle HighScale Ventures Fund I and will continue to be managed by the Transamerica Ventures team under the name HighScale Ventures, the statement noted.

“We are very excited to partner with such an experienced, highly-professional investor like mcp,” said Georg Schwegler, partner with HighScale Ventures. “We look forward to continuing to support our portfolio companies, who are predominantly in New York and the San Francisco Bay area, as they continue to grow and evolve.”

HighScale will continue to work closely with Transamerica and Aegon, Schwegler said in the statement. He has been head of corporate venturing at Transamerica’s parent Aegon since 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Founded in 1928, Transamerica was acquired by the Dutch multinational life insurance company in 1999. The firm is known for its original headquarters, the Transamerica Pyramid, one of the most distinctive buildings in San Francisco.

Among the companies in HighScale Ventures Fund I are PolicyGenius – which in January 2020 raised $100 million from investors including KKR – and Digital Currency Group, which is backed by groups such as Bain Capital Ventures, according to its website.

Montana is investing mcp Opportunity Secondary Program V, which raised €1.3 billion by final close in January 2021.

Spin-outs accounted for 7 percent of GP-led deals by volume last year compared with 5 percent in 2019, according to data from Greenhill.