Now it is official: ProSiebenSat.1 is giving up its startup incubator one and a half years after it started. According to the network, it will “henceforth no longer invest in the incubator.” The Berliner incubator tried to distribute its 200 employees – at times 250 persons – across the seven portfolio companies.
However, a large number of employees needed to be let go, including Epic CEO Mato Peric. Further parts of the management are also leaving the company. This is what the sad truth will mean for the current portfolio:
1. The sports platform Gymondo, the jewelry shop Valmano as well as the erotic shop Amorelie, where the incubator never had a direct involvement, will now be integrated in the digital commerce business SevenVentures, an equity holding from ProSiebenSat.1.
2. The hotel booking platform Discavo will be integrated in ProSieben Travel. Under this umbrella brand are portals such as Weg.de, Ferien.de, Billiger-Mietwagen, Tropo, Mydays, Wetter.com and Reise.com.
3. The fashion retailer Department 47 and reportedly ailing pet food startup Petobel is said to be “in advanced negotiations with additional strategic investors which is expected to conclude shortly.”
4. And Curvy, a project for plus sizes, is currently working on a takeover by management.
According to ProSiebenSat.1, its M&A activities will henceforth concentrate on later stage companies. For investments in the early phases, the network wants to concentrate on “business development in its core business (for example, Studio 71, the web-TV producer and distributor or 7TV App, the network overview TV app from ProSiebenSat.1), partnerships with incubators and company builders in addition to co-invests in VC funds in the US, Israel and Europe.”
ProSiebenSat.1 and SevenVentures will be focusing increasingly on international startups that want to enter the local market. Essentially, business models that have already been proven elsewhere. The first examples were the youngest ventures Talenthouse and Shopkick.