Diversity the Key as GSG Reveals First Six Investments

By David Knight |

Data analysis, charity fundraising, games publishing, social shopping, individual insurance, company acceleration – diversity is definitely the key word for the first six investments made by the German Startups Group. Founded earlier this year, the GSG is designed to help open up the startup scene to a wider range of small, private investors.

And on Wednesday, the fund revealed the names of its first six investments, which include Startupbootcamp, fraisr and Datapine.

Led by co-founders Christoph Gerlinger and Alex Kölpin, the GSG is building a portfolio of investments in entrepreneurial companies, and eventually anyone will be able to buy shares in GSG itself – thus opening up an asset class which was previously all but closed to off to ‘normal’ investors.

And here are the first batch:

Datapine is an analysis tool that gives SMEs fast access to their business intelligence data without the need for SQL knowledge. It is Software as a Service (SaaS) and there are no license, installation or maintenance costs, only a performance-based monthly subscription fee.

fraisr is a marketplace where users can buy and sell things in support of a good cause. Individuals and commercial sellers can promote sales campaigns directly via Facebook and Twitter, with part of the revenue donated to a non-profit organisation of their choice.

Infernum is a developer and publisher of online games. It specialises in MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games) and purchases online gaming licenses from game developers, operating virtual worlds on its servers and charging for virtual goods and add-on features.

Itembase is a social platform which helps online shoppers organise their purchases. They can easily access invoices, manuals and warranties online, and can sell things on at the click of a mouse. The company has already been recognised with several awards in Silicon Valley.

Schutzklick works with reputable insurers to offer consumers individual product insurance, for example against iPhone breakages, directly at the point of online sale.

Startupbootcamp offers a three-month accelerator program focusing on connecting young companies to a large network of mentors and advisors. Having been successful in Amsterdam, Dublin and Copenhagen, the first graduates in Berlin presented to a crowd full of investors last month.

The diverse investments represent a “great mix with strong founders and exceptional potential,” Christoph said. “Each company is itself very exciting and is being driven forwards by great founders.” All six startups are Berlin-based, but the GSG will look beyond the German capital in future.

So far so good, then, for Berlin’s newest seed VC firm. It must build up a large, multi-faceted portfolio in short order if it is to achieve its aim of attracting private, everyday German investors. That is a big challenge – but expect to see more investments of around the €250,000 mark in quick time in 2013.