V-Bio Ventures, the venture firm affiliated with VIB, will focus on healthcare and sustainable agriculture companies primarily in Belgium.

V-Bio Ventures, a Belgium-based venture capital firm that works closely with the Flemish biotechnology research institute VIB, raised an initial €78m ($95m) for its second fund today.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is serving as cornerstone investor for the fund, whose limited partners also include university endowments, institutional investors and family offices.

“Most” of the investors in the first fund returned, V-Bio said, but only the state-owned FPIM and PMV were identified as such.

V-Bio Fund 2 will focus on founding spinouts in the healthcare and sustainable agriculture sectors. It will invest throughout Europe, but maintain a focus on establishing companies in Belgium.

Companies in the first fund’s portfolio include Aphea.Bio, a Belgium-based agriculture technology provider created by V-Bio to exploit research from multiple institutions. Aphea.Bio raised $16.8m in a series B round two months ago from V-Bio and others.

In addition to announcing the first close of Fund 2, V-Bio also revealed the recruitment of Shelley Margetson as managing partner. Margetson had been a senior executive at various European biotechnology companies for two decades.

Jérôme Van Biervliet, managing director at VIB, said: “VIB congratulates the V-Bio team on the exciting first close of the second fund and looks forward to extending it.

“As a co-founder of V-Bio Ventures, and through their many investments in VIB’s startups, we have formed a privileged relationship. We have witnessed V-Bio Ventures become a powerful force in our biotech ecosystem, creating significant value beyond the deal.

“Their scientific expertise, market feedback and extensive network is of crucial value to VIB, alongside their investment capacity.”

VIB is a non-profit research institute that collaborates closely with all five Flemish universities: Ghent University, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Hasselt University.