ACTIVE Venture Partners recently had Sebastian Blum (previously Business Development at Cooliris with experience at T-Venture, the VC arm of Deutsche Telekom) and Georg Stockinger (previously Managing Director at Rocket Internet LatAm with experience at McKinsey & Company) join the company. Since 2004, ACTIVE has invested in 23 companies in two funds totaling €74m. These include startups such as BuyVIP, PackLink, Traity, and Fishbrain.
“After the 11 years of investment and corporate experience and the four years doing the job myself in a startup, I am stoked to support entrepreneurs to realize their vision,” says Sebastian Blum, who left his job at the photo viewing app developer
Cooliris in San Francisco to join ACTIVE VP in Hamburg, Germany. Speaking to VentureVillage, Blum said he enjoyed his time in the startup and that he sees his experience as the biggest value he brings to the company.
“Startups don’t just need investment, they need partners,” he explains. “Having done the job yourself is something else than just hearing about it.”
Blum will concentrate on startups located in Berlin. He is interested in businesses that create big markets with solid barriers of entry and will focus on mobile and consumer service as well technology.
Just as it happens in startups, where EyeEm recently hired Drew Olanoff who followed his former Flickr colleague Markus Spiering, personal relationships can be a key reason for VCs to make a career change as well.
Blum met Philipp Schröder, ACTIVE’s Founding Partner, over 10 years ago. When it came to discussing a job opportunity, Blum says he did not even bother to look for other opportunities, as he prefers to work with people he trusts.
Besides Blum, Stockinger joined the company. He has gained investment experience as an private investor in digital businesses based in Germany, Spain, the UK, Mexico and Colombia.
“ACTIVE has strongly held values relating to the long-term development of people and naturally diverse teams, and I share these,” Stockinger says who will collaborate directly with the entrepreneurial teams of the VC’s portfolio and support strategic and operational projects. His expertise is on growth-hacking and internationalisation.
Stockinger will help to expand ACTIVE’s future investment stage focus towards seed investments.