ZEISS Ventures

Enabling tech startup companies to become market-shapers

Our mission

Enable and accelerate the development and commercialization of market-shaping innovations which are between, beyond, or disruptive to the current ZEISS Strategic Business Units

ZEISS Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of the ZEISS Group, drives the ZEISS culture of innovation. We fund and actively manage a portfolio of external startups and internal business ideas. Our goal is to invest in and partner with startup companies to build commercially successful and sustainable businesses.

Our team structure

  • External Venturing: We identify and invest in external innovations and new business models for ZEISS and actively manage startup investments, including door-opening within ZEISS.
  • Internal Venturing: We support and validate early-stage business development efforts within ZEISS and finance internal start-up projects.
  • Beyond Innovation: We enable high-risk business development and expanding into new markets and technologies beyond the current ZEISS market fields.

Our investment strategy

  • We are a strategic investor and focus on ventures that are relevant for ZEISS.
  • We are a Deep Tech investor with particular interest in Industrial Tech, Med Tech and Life Sciences.
  • We target startups at pre-Series A / Series A stage and our typical ticket sizes vary between 500k – 5 million Euros for the initial investment.

Our search clusters

We primarily invest in technology-driven startups with interlinked software and hardware systems and with potential for scalable business models for global B2B markets.

Advanced sensor and data solutions

Advanced sensor and data solutions

Business topics
Integrated solutions of sensors, application specific analysis as well as data acquisition capabilities

Application focus
Sensors & data solutions in industry automation and digitized healthcare applications, primarily in surgery & ophthalmology

Example applications
Surgical Robots
Vision Care
Additive Manufacturing

 AI applications for image data & workflows

AI applications for image data & workflows

Business topics
Business model innovation based on data & workflows analytics, disrupting existing business processes and workflows to create embedded solutions increasing revenues and loyalty of our customers

Application focus
Data processing and workflow improvements in health and industry

Example applications
Image analysis tools
Medical images diagnostics
Machine vision
Vision Care
Predictive maintenance and production

Devices and diagnostics in life science

Devices and diagnostics in life science

Business topics
Combined hardware / software topics as well as platform plays, innovative business models especially with recurring revenues

Application focus
Life Sciences industry, healthcare, direct-to-consumer where applicable, primarily in surgery and ophthalmology

Example applications
In-vitro diagnostics
Personalized medicine
Tissue engineering
Remote monitoring & diagnostics
Food processing
Automated farming

ZEISS Ventures portfolio

Past ZEISS ventures

  • Bridger Photonics LiDAR Solutions
  • MultiSEM Electron Microscope


    Electron microscope

    ZEISS MultiSEM revolutionizes the speed of electron microscopy. MultiSEM allows you to unleash an acquisition speed of up to 91 parallel electron beams. Now you can image samples in the centimeter scale at nanometer resolution. This unique scanning electron microscope (SEM) is designed for continuous, reliable 24/7 operation. Simply set up your high-throughput data acquisition workflow and your MultiSEM will capture high-contrast images automatically, all by itself.

  • ZEISS RealScan Technologies

    ZEISS RealScan Technologies

    3D photorealistic digital twins

    ZEISS Virtual Media  explores end-to-end digital modelling and visualization of objects in realistic    quality. In the future, where physical reality increasingly blends with digital  content, Realscan aims to provide high-quality content for augmented, virtual and mixed-reality applications.     

  • iTrap Real time process control for semiconductor processes


    Real time process control for semiconductor processes

    The venture develops and sells precise concentration measurement solutions for business applications in the semiconductor industry. The iTrap is a highly sensitive process analyzer based on a Fourier Transform mass spectrometer. It monitors reaction products and chamber health in real time.

  • Nanoscribe 3D printing


    3D printing

    Nanoscribe offers high-precision 3D printing solutions in microfabrication by drawing on a disruptive 3D printing technology with user-friendly software and innovative materials that enable research and industry to innovate through additive manufacturing.

  • Opteyes Individualized Eyecare Solutions


    Individualized eyecare solutions

    Opteyes aims to provide a  compelling and individualized  end-to-end digital eyecare  journey for spectacle wearers  in China.

  • Bridger Photonics LiDAR Solutions

    Bridger Photonics

    LiDAR Solutions

    Bridger Photonics  provides  precision LiDAR solutions  to enable new capabilities  and improved effi ciency for  industrial metrology and oil  and gas applications.

Our Ventures principles


We aim to create value for ZEISS and the world.

  • Live the start-up culture: We invest in new ideas within and outside of ZEISS to succeed.
  • Together for one goal: We want to acquire the best people and business ideas for ZEISS from all over the world.
  • Creating value: We run our ventures with the goal of maximizing their value while creating benefits for ZEISS.
  • Joint effort: We want to join forces with entrepreneurs, co-investors, and partners with the same goal. Once a venture has become a resilient business, we are open to pass it on to the best natural owner – within or outside ZEISS.


We focus on ventures that are relevant for ZEISS.

  • Off the beaten track: We search for new business options with a demonstrated product market fit beyond the current ZEISS core business.
  • Visionary: The ideal startup generates options for business development, drives a disruption to a current ZEISS Strategic Business Unit, or enables new capabilities for ZEISS in the future.
  • Follow the ZEISS strategy: We incorporate several eligibility criteria and investment hypotheses when choosing a new startup.
  • Principle: While we seek to be commercially effective, we will not compromise the ZEISS brand and culture of thinking long-term for short-term financial motivations alone.

Structured process

We provide expertise through the entire venture life cycle.

  • Step-by-step: We support startups from as early as the first validated market product fit until market maturity.
  • Active Ownership: We assign dedicated owners to each venture, who bring in skills and experience to drive the value of the venture.
  • Access to the ZEISS world: We provide access to the international ZEISS network of people and assets.
  • Decision makers: Two Executive Board members are part of the Venture Board, supported by our Ventures management team.

Venture spirit

We bring the venture spirit into the corporate world.

  • Act as a team: Our best ventures have been global team efforts. We fully commit to our entrepreneurs and build long-term relationships based on open dialogues and mutual trust.
  • Conviction: We are a highly determined investor and strong business partner.
  • Learn and grow: We are convinced that candidness and learning from each other is significant and valuable.
  • Speed to succeed: News businesses need to move fast to succeed. Sometimes high-risk decisions need to be made for new companies to flourish.

Our key facts

ZEISS Ventures in numbers

  • 5

    We have been a strong venture partner for 5 years.

  • 20

    Team members
    We are an international team with a wide variety of different professional backgrounds.

  • >15

    Investments globally
    Our business portfolio is international and reaches from all over the EU to North America and Asia.

  • +125 Mio USD

    Fund size
    Our venturing includes funding and expertise to build resilient businesses step-by-step.

  • 3

    As of today, we have achieved profit realization in three cases.

Our team

A diverse, international team with a great mix of backgrounds to cope with the different matters across our portfolio

Dr. Karl Lamprecht

President & CEO ZEISS Group and Chairman ZEISS Ventures

Gerrit Schulte

Head of ZEISS Ventures