5 German family offices investing venture capital in startups

Family Offices are very discrete institutions responsible for managing funds of propertied single individuals or families. Some of them function as Multi-Family-Office for multiple people or families. The tasks of those family administrations are not limited to managing funds as they often do beneficent activities or function as mediators in family conflicts as well. In specific cases it might happen that they are taking over the life organization and planning as well.

Nevertheless, the most important activity of Family Offices is to secure and further develop the assets of their clients. The focus lies on successful investments with a long-term perspective. On this account many family offices do not only count on secure investments in the capital market, but also on Startup funding. By offering seed capital and investments for a specific period the firms function as incubators for innovative companies.

In this article we introduce five German Family Offices which strategically invest in young companies.

1. Alstin – Maschmeyer Group

After selling his company AWD to the Swiss company Swiss Life, Carsten Maschmeyer has organized his business activities jointly under the umbrella of the Maschmeyer Group. The firm undertakes tasks of a regular Family Office but is further open for third parties such as partners or friends of Mr. Maschmeyer. The Alstin- Alternative Strategic Investments – GmbH do investments in innovative Startups for a limited time period. In the course of its investment activities the Family Office focuses on digital business models promising an above-average growth perspective.

2. Astutia Ventures – Investments under the aegis of Rodenstock

While the name Rodenstock is normally associated with optic and glasses, the youngster of the family has set-up his own business. Benedict Rodenstock has established the venture capital company Astutia Ventures ten years ago after his job as a partner with the Family Office Lucitas. The fonds focuses on investments in innovative Startups by minority equity investments in the founding or early growth phase. The – hopefully profitable- exit takes place after a time period of three to five years.

3. Reimann Investors – Strategic Investments with a perspective

The history of the entrepreneurial family Reimann is linked closely to the growth of the chemical company Benckiser. The family members of the Reimann-Dubbers part have sold their shareholdings of the Joh. A. Benckiser company and have established the Munich-based Family Office Reimann Investors to manage the family wealth.

The Family Office has two pillars. One is to invest on the capital market focusing on value preservation. The other one is to invest in shareholdings. Thereby Reimann Investors focuses on young, strongly growing companies preferably in the digital and FinTech branches. The Family Offices sees itself as a strategic investor with a long-term perspective.

4. DVH Ventures – Venture Capital by Dieter von Holtzbrinck

Georg-Dieter von Holtzbrinck is one of the most prominent publishers in Germany. Back in 2014 the entrepreneur established his own independent Venture Capital Fonds called DVH Ventures. The investments focus on FinTech and InsurTech Startups. Additionally, the VC spends capital to young companies in other technology fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cyber Security, Internet of Things or Mobile Advertising. A few cases also show investments in non-digital business models.

5. SKion GmbH – A company of Susanne Klatten

Susanne Klatten is said to be the wealthiest woman in Germany. Under the umbrella of the SKion GmbH the business woman manages her industry shareholdings. These are amongst others shares of Nordex, SGL Carbon and Avista Oil AG. Furthermore, SKion holds 100% of the chemical company Altana.

Besides SKion GmbH does investments in companies with a sustainable and long-term business perspective. Thereby the special focus lies on young companies in the water technology sector. Basically, Susanne Klatten counts on investments in future-oriented technologies as well as in innovative business models in the industry and service sector.

Picture source: Roman Kraft

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