14. May 2014–
Epic Companies is about to become significantly smaller: In the near future, many of its employees will no longer work for the ProSiebenSat.1 incubator directly but will be transferred to its portfolio companies. This information comes from Epic Companies CEO Mato Peric via Gründerszene. The incubator does not want to be under the pressure of consistently founding new companies in order to justify itself, explains Peric. A main factor behind this decision is likely the high operating costs that the incubator would have otherwise incurred.
The number of employees at Epic Companies also grew fast. A rumor surrounding Epic Companies is that the incubator will shrink to only a handful of employees, which Peric commented on by saying, "ridiculous. We are more than 200 employees across all portfolio companies, and we will remain more than 200." Most recently, the ProSiebenSat.1 subsidiary reported on having 250 employees, however, it has been said that there are currently 350 employees across all ventures.
Peric confirms that the realignment will not be without layoffs, although no concrete numbers have been shared. Epic Companies should remain "lean and flexible". The Epic Companies CEO declined to comment on the exact number of employees at the incubator currently and what the number will be in the medium term. At the HEUREKA Conference just a few days ago, Epic Companies Chief Marketing Officer Finn Hänsel insisted, after being asked directly, that the incubator approach is valid and will remain valid in the long-term.
The portfolio will not change, says Peric. However, it is important to look at how the incubator would be best positioned. "The portfolio companies should not be too dependent on Epic Companies." The ventures promise Peric more security, as the companies can fall back on the full-time employees working at Epic Companies. However, the cost of these employees will need to be taken over by the portfolio companies, and they can sometimes be significantly more expensive to employ.
Peric chose not to comment on the impact of the financial link between the incubator and the portfolio companies. At the moment, the incubator is working on its sixth venture, though Peric will not reveal more details on the subject. He did say, however, that the incubator will invest more in general than it did in previous years. Epic Companies, formed by ProSiebenSat.1 and Peric, has currently seven startups in its portfolio: Gymondo, Valmano, Petobel, Amorelie, Todaytickets, Discavo and online fashion shop Department27. All startups from Epic Companies are supported with capital in addition to media advertising particularly television advertising.
Image Credit: Screenshot Epic Companies
Translated by: Elena Rueckert