29. April 2013–
Beckers traded shares with Hasso Plattner Ventures, Kite Ventures and Tengelmann, which each had around five per cent holdings in the company. Rather than leaving because of problems they had with the incubator, Beckers assured us that it was a mutually beneficial trade-off.
“We traded for two reasons – they all had very small shareholdings in Hitfox and both Hasso Plattner Ventures and Kite Ventures have big shares in Sponsorpay, while Tengelmann has a big share in Delivery Hero. So I traded my shares in Sponsorpay and Delivery Hero (respectively) because I wanted more shares in Hitfox to concentrate my ownership.”
This means the VCs now have more influence over these companies through their substantial shareholdings.
“Also, as a VC, you typically don’t invest in an incubator – it’s too out of their control. Even though things were going well, they don’t like the incubator strategy the way entrepreneurs like it. But there’s no bad feelings,” Beckers explained.
The deal happened a few months ago and leaves the founders and management of Hitfox with 85 per cent of the company. Beckers said this was a deliberate move, to increase the speed of decision-making and support the rapid growth of the company – Hitfox wants to double its staff by the end of the year, which is no small feat considering it already employs close to 100 people.
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