After launching its new accelerator and incubator just a couple of weeks ago, German television broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has now officially announced the details of the Berlin-based project. It is called Epic Companies and will be led by ex-Rocket Internet manager, Mato Peric.
The incubator aims to launch at least five successful startups per year, providing them with support via substantial seed financing, television advertisement and expert advice on company building.
For now, Epic Companies will be mostly focusing on eCommerce startups that target the European market. It was set up to allow ProSieben to expand its venture activities and gain access to early-stage startups.
Alongside his role as CEO of Epic Companies, Mato Peric will also serve as COO within ProSieben. Helping Peric manage the incubator is a leadership team that is mostly made up of ex-Rocket Internet and McKinsey staff – including former Rocket managers Uli Erxleben and Janosch Novak and Adrian Frenzel, formerly of McKinsey. Previously, Peric was in charge of launching Asian Zalando clones Zalora and Jabong for Rocket Internet.
The announcement follows ProSieben’s earnings report for 2012 – in which it announced 15 per cent of profits have come from the digital division of the company, which made 38 per cent more revenue than the year before.
ProSieben executive Dr Chrisian Wegner, commenting on the value of Epic Companies for the broadcaster, said: “In addition to holding minority stakes via media-for-revenue or media-for-equity investments and strategic majority holdings, we will now be able to directly participate in raising the net value of internet businesses earlier.”
This is further proof big media companies in Germany are eyeing up the lucrative startup market and working to connect the old economy with the new digital one. Axel Springer holds a 49 per cent stake in startup competition hy! Berlin, and announced the acquisition of social TV startup TunedIn just a couple of days ago. Deutsche Telekom has also launched its own incubator, hubraum.
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