Corporate ventures — what is their strategy?
The idea of our own venture capital company was born in mid-2013. In December, we officially launched Mobile Ventures [http://www .mobile-ventures.com]. In organizational terms, all Group-wide venture activities are bundled within one company. The company has sufficient capital to make its own investments, even in the short term. Above all, we would like to open up new business areas around mobile communications and digital technologies, and thus ideally also achieve cross-fertilization with regard to our own products.
Within the Drillisch AG Group, there are numerous opportunities to offer participating companies real added value. These include, in particular, access to mobile networks with favorable rates, end-customer reach, high technological expertise, and years of know-how in online marketing. These were further reasons to start with our own venture company. We call this principle Mobile-For-Equity: The associated company is given access to the services of the Drillisch Group. In return, Mobile Ventures receives shares in the company. Of course, pure cash investments or mixed forms can also be considered.
There is no separate fund. Mobile Ventures invests directly with its own capital.
The aim of Mobile Ventures is to finance young — ideally technology-oriented — companies that could act as innovation drivers and open up new business models. The investment amount for young companies is in the order of up to 1 million euros per investment. A complete purchase or takeover of companies in an advanced growth phase is also not ruled out. We take a look at the case-by-case.
We only launched in December of last year, so we haven’t made an investment yet. Numerous discussions are already taking place.
We are experiencing a real upswing in the mobile sector. Drillisch AG is also benefiting from this with its core business as a wireless services provider and MNVO. We are fully embracing this phase with our price-leading smartphone offering and are also very well positioned with sales focuses in high-growth e‑commerce channels.
The current boom in the mobile sector is based on trends such as mobile first, always on, big data, second screen, smartphones, tablets and much more. Some technologies or business models are indeed hyped in the scene. However, we are convinced that fundamental changes in business models in the established industry are imminent. The next upcoming changes could be in the areas of wearable technologies, smart home, smart tvs, mobile first, Internet of Things and connectivity. For example, we are currently talking to a company that is developing a platform for the transmission of body data. Body information is transmitted via the networks to medical monitoring centers, where it is analyzed in real time. Something like that is super exciting for us. Many startups are dealing with ideas that are in the mobile application space. “And always expect the unexpected.”