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.