3 questions to smart minds

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Photo: J. Valdenaire | Capnamic Ventures

Corporate ventures — what is their strategy?

For this 3 questions to J. Valdenaire

Capna­mic Ventures
Photo: J. Valden­aire | Capna­mic Ventures
18. March 2014

Incre­asingly, larger compa­nies are deci­ding to set up their own venture unit. In this way, they want to make the latest deve­lo­p­ments acces­si­ble to their company and tap resour­ces on the free market for them­sel­ves. In Decem­ber 2013, the Dril­lisch Group laun­ched Mobile Ventures Gmbh and opened two offices at once, one in Frank­furt and one in Munich. What goals and what stra­tegy are they pursuing with it?

For this 3 ques­ti­ons to Mana­ging Direc­tor of Mobile Ventures GmbH, Munich

1. How did Dril­lisch come to the decis­ion to estab­lish its own venture capi­tal company? Do you have your own fund?

The idea of our own venture capi­tal company was born in mid-2013. In Decem­ber, we offi­ci­ally laun­ched Mobile Ventures [http://www]. 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.

2. What is Mobile Ventures’ focus, and at what scale do you invest? Have you made any deals yet?

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.

3. What is Mobile Ventures’ or Drillisch’s assess­ment of mobile appli­ca­ti­ons and tech­no­lo­gies in the future?

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.”

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