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WE LOVE STARTUPS

We are the most active private provider of venture capital in Germany..1
 
We strive to become the provider of the highest volume of venture capital for disruptive innovations in Germany.

  • TVSmiles
  • SoundCloud
  • Delivery Hero
  • Mister Spex
  • Book a Tiger

 1CB Insights, Germany Venture Capital Overview

TODAY’S STARTUPS ARE TOMORROW’S BIG BUSINESSES

The digital revolution causes profound changes. Young technology companies are the driving force for the future growth of employment, tax revenues, individual wealth, and therefore prosperity.

  • Book a Tiger
  • Onefootball
  • Armedangels
  • Friendsurance
  • Itembase

STARTUPS REVO­LUTIONIZE PRODUCTS & RESHAPE MARKETS

Due to the Internet’s advance into all areas, startups revolutionize products and value creation processes with their innovative strength, thereby reshaping markets and redistributing entrepreneurial wealth.

  • Itembase
  • Juniqe
  • Remerge
  • realbest
  • Exozet

LOOKING FOR THE BEST STARTUPS MADE IN GERMANY

Our holdings constitute a stage-agnostic cross-section of, in our view, promising German startups – from the seed stage, in which the product is developed, to the early and then growth stage, in which startups already enjoying success undergo high-speed growth.

  • Exozet
  • Simplesurance
  • Auctionata
  • CRX Markets
  • Ceritech

Berlin Is the New Startup Hotspot, Also Called Silicon Allee

Peter Thiel, US Internet billionaire: “Berlin has the most potential of all cities in Europe.”
Matt Cohler, Facebook co-founder, active US VC investor: “I’d bet on Berlin.
I believe Berlin has the best shot in the Western world outside of Silicon Valley at becoming a place with a true tech startup ecosystem.“

  • Ceritech
  • Fiagon
  • Scalable Capital
  • Service Partner One
  • TVSmiles
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OUR MISSION

GERMAN STARTUPS GROUP BUILDS A BRIDGE BETWEEN STARTUPS AND CAPITAL MARKET INVESTORS AIMING TO PROVIDE THE MOST SKILLED AND TALENTED GERMAN ENTREPRENEURS WITH MORE GROWTH CAPITAL AND TO GIVE OUR SHAREHOLDERS ACCESS TO THE HIGH RETURN POTENTIAL OF ‘STARTUPS MADE IN GERMANY’.

Our Approach

STEMMING FROM OUR EXTENSIVE DEALFLOW, WE IDENTIFY INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH CAREFUL ANALYSIS AND OFFER THEM “SMART MONEY” – VENTURE CAPITAL ALONG WITH KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE, AND CONTACTS. WE ACTIVELY SUPPORT OUR STARTUPS IN INCREASING THEIR SHARE­HOLDER VALUE, E.G. THROUGH ACCESS TO THE SERVICES OF EXOZET, IN WHICH WE HOLD A MAJORITY STAKE.
 
OUR COMPANY VIDEO

DEALFLOW & ANALYSIS

TIGHTLY ENMESHED WITH THE GERMAN STARTUP ECOSYSTEM, WE HAVE ACCESS TO INTERESTING BUSINESS IDEAS AND ATTRACTIVE STARTUPS ALREADY IN EXISTENCE, WHICH WE SELECT BASED ON THEIR DISRUPTIVE POTENTIAL, THEIR SCALABILITY, THEIR ENTREPRENEURIAL TALENT, AND THEIR MARKET SUCCESS AND POSITION.

VENTURE CAPITAL

WE ALLOCATE VENTURE CAPITAL OF 100,000 TO 3 MILLION EUROS IN DIFFERENT STEPS FOR TALENTED FOUNDERS WITH INNOVATIVE IDEAS AND SCALABLE BUSINESS MODELS. UNLIKE MANY VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDS, WE ARE AN EVERGREEN HOLDING COMPANY AND HAVE MUCH HIGHER FLEXIBILITY TO ACT.

KNOW-HOW & NETWORK

WITH OUR EXPERIENCE FROM SEVERAL COMPANY FOUNDATIONS, NUMEROUS ACHIEVEMENTS IN BUILDING UP COMPANIES AND THE CORRESPONDING FINANCING PROCESSES, VARIOUS EXITS AND TWO SUCCESSFUL IPOS, WE GIVE “OUR” ENTREPRENEURS ACCESS TO OUR LONG-STANDING KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE, AND CONTACTS.

Exozet

THROUGH OUR MAJORITY STAKE IN THE DIGITAL AGENCY EXOZET, WE OFFER OUR PORTFOLIO COMPANIES ACCESS TO AN EXTENSIVE RANGE OF SERVICES – FROM THE REALISATION OF COMPLEX WEB, IOS, AND ANDROID APPLICATIONS THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF ONLINE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS TO THE STRATEGIC CONSULTING ON BRAND DEVELOPMENT, MODIFYING BUSINESS MODELS, AND SELECTING TECHNOLOGY.

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Our Entrepreneurs

A selection of entrepreneurs we work with

 ALEXANDER ZACKE 
 ALEXANDER ZACKE 

ALEXANDER ZACKE
CEO AUCTIONATA

ALEXANDER ZACKE<br />CEO AUCTIONATA
In hindsight it seems impossible that Alexander Zackes career could not culminate in the establishment of the online auction house Auctionata, as the entrepreneur combines his 25-year experience in the traditional world of auctioning with the digital pioneer work of the online marketplace eBay. Alexander Zacke worked as an art expert and auctioneer for the renowned Viennese auction house Dorotheum and was also „Powerseller of the Year“ with eBay and consultant of the former CEO Meg Whitman. He knew that especially art and luxury good auctions were ready to not only exist in exclusive circles, but to be accessible for everyone who had an Internet connection. This plan was realised in 2012 with the establishment of the startup Auctionata with the help of the patented livestreaming technology. It is evident that he chose the right approach because of the company's success: Auctionata is, according to its own records, already the largest worldwide online auction house for art and luxury objects. In the year 2015 over 80 million Euros worth of items were auctioned over the platform. "I am more than pleased to have German Startups Group on board as a shareholder."
 DIRK GRABER 
 DIRK GRABER 

DIRK GRABER
CEO MISTER SPEX

DIRK GRABER<br />CEO MISTER SPEX
Dirk Graber knew early on that entrepreneurship would be his calling. During his studies of business administration, which he conducted in Marbug, Leipzig, Moscow, and Hong Kong, he completed internships at eBay and Jamba – still emerging startups at the time. The energetic spirit of the young companies made him take the decision to one day found his own startup. After Dirk Graber had gained further experience as business consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, in 2007 he decided on founding an online optician called Mister Spex. Even though he wears glasses himself, his choice had purely economic reasons: Roughly half of all Germans wear glasses. They are sold at high average prices, and correspondingly at high margins, and require comparably low storage costs. Additionally, online sales presented the possibility of breaking down the extreme price intransparency of the established opticians. The success has proved him right. In its tenth year after its foundation, Mister Spex is the leading online optician in Europe and already active in ten countries, according to their own records. "I appreciate the swift, pleasant, and uncomplicated collaboration with German Startups Group."
 LEA LANGE 
 LEA LANGE 

LEA LANGE
FOUNDER JUNIQE

LEA LANGE<br />FOUNDER JUNIQE
Lea Lange could not have founded a startup that suits her better since the online shop for affordable art, apparel, and accessories combines three of her strengths: her economic know-how, the experiences she had already gained in this market segment, and, last but not least, her enthusiasm for art and design. She acquired her management and sales expertise during her studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the University of St. Gallen, and the ESADE Business School in Barcelona as well as at the consulting firms Ernst & Young and Roland Berger. Subsequently, at the age of only 24, she was presented with the opportunity to combine her entrepreneurial knowledge with her love for art, and, to top it off, gain valuable experience in the strategic planning of a design e-commerce store: She was appointed Executive Director Strategy & Analytics for the European business of FAB. There Lea Lange discovered that art prints enjoy great popularity with customers; yet require little logistics expenditures and therefore offer high margins. Based on these insights she founded Juniqe, the online shop for affordable art, along with Marc Pohl and Sebastian Hasebrink, which has already expanded into several countries shortly after its foundation. "From the very beginning we have greatly benefitted from German Startups Group’s financial and entrepreneurial support."
 CLAUDE RITTER AND <br /> NIKITA FAHRENHOLZ 
 CLAUDE RITTER AND 
 NIKITA FAHRENHOLZ 

CLAUDE RITTER & NIKITA FAHRENHOLZ
FOUNDERS BOOK A TIGER

CLAUDE RITTER & NIKITA FAHRENHOLZ<br />FOUNDERS BOOK A TIGER
Nikita Fahrenholz and Claude Ritter are passionate about true entrepreneurship. At a time when the online food delivery service Lieferheld, internationally known as Delivery Hero, which they co-founded, is constantly expanding internationally, the two entrepreneurs are neither satisfied nor weary and decided to try to repeat this feat with another startup – Book a Tiger. Claude Ritter brings to the table long-standing experience as a serial founder in China, while Nikita Fahrenholz has gained financial expertise as a consultant at McKinsey and as an investment banking analyst at the Citigroup. “German Startups Group has invested in us for the second time. We are convinced that they will not regret it.”
 FRANK ZAHN 
 FRANK ZAHN 

FRANK ZAHN
CEO EXOZET

FRANK ZAHN<br />CEO EXOZET
Frank Zahn represents the SMEs among the founders. He laid the foundation for his Internet agency Exozet some 18 years ago – before the word “startup” even meant something in Germany. Since then, he has turned his agency for “Creative Technologies” into one of the market leaders in the online, media, and entertainment sector and employs approximately 140 staff. His advice is also coveted by representatives of politics and business, amongst others as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry committee “Digital Economy” and as member of the advisory board of the Investitionsbank and the Berlin Cross Innovation Advisory Board of the Berlin Senate. Not only is he one of the pioneers within the German startup landscape, with Exozet as the first tenant after the reopening, he is also a pioneer of the Berlin Tempelhof Airport. “We have waited for a long time to include an investor, but German Startups Group has convinced us with their entrepreneurial verve.”
 LEA-SOPHIE CRAMER 
 LEA-SOPHIE CRAMER 

LEA-SOPHIE CRAMER
CEO AMORELIE

LEA-SOPHIE CRAMER<br />CEO AMORELIE
Typical for high-potential founders of the digital economy, Lea-Sophie Cramer held several key roles before she took the calculated path towards her own startup. After completing her business studies in Mannheim and her study visit in Japan, she was lured away from the Boston Consulting Group to the incubation giant Rocket Internet, where she was quickly named Vice President for Asia. Subsequently, she shared the responsibility for 1,200 employees in 11 different countries across Asia in a similar role for the discount platform Groupon – at this stage, she was 24. After meticulous analysis of the German e-commerce market, she saw a gap that would garner her buoyant interest from the press: an online lifestyle shop for sensual sex products. She founded the shop at the end of 2012 under the name of Amorelie together with her co-founder Sebastian Pollock. Following strong growth and an extensive TV campaign of the e-commerce company, Lea-Sophie Cramer received the Victress Award as a “female role model in Germany who possesses convincing business ideas and strong vision” and, in addition, has been appointed to the board of administration and advisory board of Conrad Electronics at the beginning of 2014. “Just as cars need fuel, founders need the right investors in order to move forward with the right combination!”

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 OUR MANAGEMENT 

Christoph Gerlinger manages the team of German Startups Group as CEO and founder, together with Nikolas Samios (photo on the left) as Chief Investment Officer.

 Christoph Gerlinger 

Christoph Gerlinger

Christoph Gerlinger has gained over 20 years of manage­ment experience in the Internet industry, in which he has founded a number of businesses, experiencing all the accompanying highs and lows. One of the businesses he founded is Frogster Interactive Pictures AG, which he took public and managed as CEO for seven years. Prior to that, he was Head of German operations for Infogrames/Atari and CFO of CDV Software Entertainment, which he took public as well. Christoph was named one of the 50 most interesting founders by the German business magazine Wirtschafts­woche and was appointed external expert of the discussion group “Digitalisation” by the National board of the CDU. Christoph Gerlinger holds a graduate degree in business administration and is a qualified banker.

 Nikolas Samios 

Nikolas Samios

Nikolas Samios is a long-standing expert for venture capital and investment management. He has supported entrepreneurs and investors in the implementation of their projects and building (corporate) venture capital companies for over 10 years. As the former CEO of Brandenburg Ventures and founder of Cooperativa Venture Services, he is deeply rooted in the German startup scene and has strong methodological and process competence in all matters related to venture capital.