The European tech sector is growing five times faster than the rest of the economy
In fact, our roots are in private equity with a clear focus on venture capital. That’s how we started in 1997, and venture capital has always been at the core of our DNA. “It was only” ten years after our founding that we established the private debt business and later the private funds business (funds of funds and secondaries). Today, we manage €2.9 billion in venture and growth capital, making us one of the leading VC funds in Europe. In total, we have more than 80 companies in our portfolio in this area. We invest in particular in companies in the digital economy, the smart cities sector and digital health.
We are proud to be part of some of Europe’s great success stories as a financing partner. The French government recently selected the “Next 40”, the 40 most promising French tech companies, in analogy to the CAC 40. Almost half of them are part of our portfolio. And so far, five companies have made it to the NASDAQ IPO with our support.
We have been active in Germany for many years and have made ten investments in the field of venture capital so far, including very well-known and successful names such as the e‑scooter rental company Circ, the telemedicine company TeleClinic, which offers around-the-clock video and telephone consultations with specialists and primary care physicians, and Wefox, one of the leading insurtechs that helps consumers manage and optimize their insurance online. The German market offers very attractive opportunities. In terms of all key indicators — total venture capital invested, newly created unicorns and number of exits realized — only the UK is ahead of Germany in Europe.
The German startup ecosystem is very dynamic and is driven primarily by three factors: the quality of the education system, Germany’s attractiveness for software developers from Central and Eastern Europe, and German corporations, many of which actively support startups and offer them business opportunities. Germany is home to numerous promising companies in promising areas such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), fintech and digital health. As part of our Europe-wide growth strategy, we are therefore continuously expanding our local team. In addition to our office in Frankfurt, we also have employees in Berlin.
We find our investment targets by building relationships with their founders as early as possible. At the beginning, there is almost always a close agreement on content between us and the entrepreneurs. We establish contacts and cultivate relationships via the local ecosystems, i.e. the networks of founders, business angels and investors. We select those founding teams that challenge the status quo and whose companies have the potential to establish themselves internationally and permanently as “game changers”. The women and men we support are courageous, pursue a clear vision and are determined to realize their ideas under any circumstances.
We see ourselves as their strategic partners and help our more than 300 portfolio companies by connecting them with potential customers and partners or, in the case of recruiting, with talent from our network. Last but not least, we give them access to our extensive network, for example if they want to expand outside Europe. With our presence in nine countries — including the USA, Brazil, China and Korea — we can offer them many opportunities.