10. July 2015–
The week flew by and German startups were busy announcing product updates, raising money, and sharing IPO details. Here is your summary.
Room.me raises Seed Round
Room.me is match-making for roommates. After being the only German startup in Axel Springer Plug & Play's fourth badge, Room.me opened an office in San Francisco in April 2015. This week, the startup announced a $1.1 million Seed Round, led by Stuttgart-based VC Grazia Equity Partners. A number of business angels also joined. The investment will be used to launch the platform in the Bay Area. Different to the German market, the U.S. doesn't offer many rental and room mate platforms, Room.me explains.
Two shareholders in Zalando sold shares worth €244 million
Holtzbrinck Ventures and Access Industry sold stock worth €244 million of Berlin-based online retailer Zalando sold. That is 3.36 percent of the company's share capital. When the shares were first placed, they were at €29.50 each. The closing price was €31.12.
EyeEm adds more curation to its Discovery feed
Berlin-based photography marketplace EyeEm just recently raised an $18 million round. Today, it updated its app and added more curation to the Discovery feature to let users see more beautiful pictures and albums. This shall motivate the community to not only upload their best pictures but also to add them to the market place, a tool that lets users sell their photographs through EyeEm.
Siemens takes over HTGF’s and two business angels’ shares in robot startup Magazino
Munich-based robot startup Magazino announces that Siemens bought HTGF’s and two business angels’ shares in its startup. Last year, these had invested €500 k. Magazino is a sorting and packing robot. The founders kept 50,1% of the company, that has over 20 employees.
GlassesGroupGlobal raises a $3 million Series A round
Berlin- and Kuala Lumpur-based GlassesGroupGlobal is a eyeglass retail startup that is founded and led by Christopher Strauch, former Managing Director of Zalora and ex-CEO of Rocket Internet UK. With this Series A round, its overall funding sums up to $4.5 million. The round was led by Caixa Capital and Nova Founders Capital. Angel investors Toivos Annus, Uwe Kolb, and Siegfried Drueker joined the round. Already being available to 14 markets, the investment will be used to expand to further ones.
Babbel raises $22 million
Berlin- and New York-based language learning service Babbel raises a $22 million funding round led by Scottish Equity Partners. Previous investors Reed Elsevier Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, and VC Fonds Technology Berlin joined the Series C round. The fresh cash will be used to grow, especially in the U.S. where the startup opened its first international office.
German Startup Group shares details about upcoming IPO
The Berlin-based German Startup Group mentioned an IPO before. Now, the VC shares some details: It “is planning to go public on the Entry Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The envisaged issue proceeds are to be used mainly to purchase shares in startups over the next two years. The current shareholders will not be selling any shares unless the underwriting banks exercise their so-called greenshoe option. The transaction is being accompanied by COMMERZBANK AG as the sole Global Coordinator/Joint Bookrunner as well as Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers KGaA, BHF-BANK AG and quirin bank AG as Joint Bookrunner.” According to Gründerszene, the price range per stock is between €2.70 and €3.60.
[press release], [Gründerszene] (German)
Rocket Internet’s VC arm Global Founders Capital invests in real estate platform
Europe’s first real estate investment platform BrickVest announces a funding by Global Founders Capital, a Rocket Internet VC arm. The Berlin- and London-based startup hasn’t even launched yet, however, it is described as a platform that lets users invest in real estate in North America and Europe, starting at €1,000. Details of the deal remain undisclosed.
North Rhine-Westphalia and EU support startups with €20 million
A lot of startups kick off in Berlin, but that doesn’t mean other places in Germany stay behind. To support those who are in cities like Cologne or Dusseldorf, the ministry of North Rhine-Westfalia and the European Union hand out an overall amount of €20 million until 2020. However, financial support is not for everyone: The startup idea needs to be based on science and research. Is that the case, a startup can receive up to €240,000. Applications are open now. A jury wants to announce first results by this August.
Payever get investment from HTGF
Being founded in December 2013, the payment toolbox for businesses lived from scholarships, grants and its own income. Different to the US-based Square, Payever not only offers a online shop solution, but also lets user pay via Facebook, email and transfers, on top of PayPal and credit card payment, which are the two ways Square offers. Now, HTGF (High-Tech Gründerfonds) invested in Payever. Though the amount remains undisclosed, the amount is probably €500 k, which is what HTGF usually invests.
Elumeo’s IPOs doesn’t perform as expected
The online jewelry shop Elumeo did not take off as well as hoped/expected. Its shares started at issue price of €25 and dropped slightly to €24.75. Upfront, things didn’t go as planned: Instead of the planned 2.54 million shares only 1.73 million were sold. In total that means only €43 million were raised instaed of €84 million.
[Update on Gründerszene] (German)