Will Axel Springer inject another € 50 million in the Berlin startup scene?24 Jan, 2013
According to deutsche-startups, Axel Springer is in ‘early talks’ with Berlin based incubator Project A to invest € 50 million in the incubator. It says multiple sources confirmed that there are ‘intense negotiations’ between Springer and Project A.
Project A was started by former Rocket Internet executive Florian Heinemann with Uwe Horstmann, Thies Sander and Christian Weiss. It received an initial investment of € 50 million from German mail order and e-commerce giant Otto. To date, Project A Ventures made 11 investments.
Deutsche startups notes that there are nice synergies between Springer, Otto and Project A: Otto founder Michael Otto is on the board of directors at Springer. Otto can bring a lot of know how in e-commerce, Springer can leverage its media properties, and the Project A team has the finger on the pulse of the startup scene. Springer also recently invested in the new Berlin startup event HyBerlin.
Recently, Thomas Grota from T-Ventures (venturing arm of T-Mobile) said 2013 would become a “make or break” year for Berlin as a tech hub. Another € 50 million injected into the scene would definitely help to provide a solid foundation.
Axel Springer seems determined to make a successful transition from a (print) publisher to an important digital player in Europe. It has been acquiring several market leaders around Europe, among which Belgian online real estate platform Immoweb (€ 127 million). It’s also experimenting with online content streaming through ‘Bild Movies’ (in collaboration with Vivendi).
Photo: Andre Pierre, Flickr
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