Venture Capital

Connecting Old and New Economies

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany has long lacked venture capital funding for startups. La Famiglia venture capital fund wants to change that by bringing together digital pioneers with small and medium-sized businesses. The fund has already attracted investors from major European industrial families, like Miele, Siemens and Swarovski.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Compared to Germany, the United States has about 20 times as many venture capital funds with an investment volume of at least €100 million.
    • The total volume of venture capital invested annually in Germany has only increased by 17 percent since 2011, compared to 157 percent in the United States in the same period.
    • Established companies value the early access to digital trends and young business offered by La Famiglia.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Berlin – das betahaus
The betahaus co-working space in Berlin's Kreuzberg district. Photo DPA

There is a new movement in Germany’s community of digital pioneers. Over the past year, venture capital fund La Famiglia, a powerful network of well-known European entrepreneurial families, has quietly joined forces with leaders of the digital economy to invest in promising young startups. Their goal is to bridge the gap between established, Mittelstand companies and digital pioneers, bringing together leaders from both worlds as investors. Based in Munich, the fund has already invested in seven startups in 2016, and it plans to add at least another 10 next year.

Although La Famiglia has been around for six months, they’ve received scant media attention. And despite the fund’s modest website, investors include several members of large European industrial dynasties, such as Germany’s Miele, Viessmann, Siemens, Fürstenberg and Conrad families, as well as the Swarovski family in Austria and the Solvay family in Belgium.

In addition to envoys from the so-called old economy, investors in La Famiglia include some of Germany’s most successful entrepreneurs and business angels. One of them is Hakan Koc, who co-founded the Auto-1 Group in 2012 and developed it into Germany’s leading online marketplace for car buyers and sellers. The company is already worth more than a billion euros. Sven Rittau, another La Famiglia investor, co-founded  Zooplus, which currently boasts sales of more than €700 million.

Other investors are Sebastian Pollok, founder of online adult toy shop Amorelie, which was sold to the television and radio conglomerate Pro Sieben Sat 1 last year, as well as Nicole Junkermann, who co-founded the marketing agency Infront Sports & Media, which was later sold to Bridgepoint for more than €500 million.

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