Ich bin ein Berlin Investor

By Silicon Allee |

Nenad Marovac is the founder and managing partner of DN Capital, based in Palo Alto. DN Capital focuses on software and digital media investments across Europe and the United States, and has a particular interest in Berlin.

Over the last five to 10 years, we have seen Berlin emerge as one of the hottest spots in Europe for startups in the digital media and e-commerce space. Berlin has several universities, resulting in a city full of smart, young people and also a culture of innovation and creativity. It is also super cheap, making it a great environment for startups. Now we are seeing not only young Germans companies in Berlin but also international firms – such as Soundcloud, which set up in the German capital rather than the founders’ home country of Sweden. What the Samwars and Lukasz Gadowski have done with Rocket and TEV is really important for the eco-system. Each group has created 10-20 companies which have become successes in their own right and have also resulted in the more able and ambitious members of these teams going on their own to start their own firms. I would consider TEV and Rocket (Samwars) as successful as any venture capitalists in Europe in terms of building winning companies and stimulating the entrepreneurial zest that is Berlin.

At DN Capital we are very excited about what is going on in Berlin, and we are contemplating opening an office of our own with our next fund. While everyone is stumbling over themselves to get into India and China the German market is in our back yard and must be the world’s most underinvested venture capital market in a developed country. We think that is about to change – success breeds success and with companies such as Zalando, Big Point, Gameforge, Brands4friends and Mister Spex, we think more new firms will be created and need to be funded.

I spent a lot of time in Berlin before attending business school advising the Treuhandanstalt (the agency responsible for privatizing East German companies after the fall of the Berlin Wall) and it is really nice to come back to a city which holds so many fond memories for me.