New VC Capnamic Ventures Launches ‘Multi-Corporate’ Fund

By David Knight |

There’s a new player in funding town – and Capnamic Ventures has already attracted the support of companies like Universal Music, the Rheinische Post and the M. DuMont Schauberg media group. The Cologne-based fund describes itself as an independent multi-corporate VC firm and says it will focus on scalable business models in digital media.

Capnamic is being headed by two experienced figures from the German investment scene – Jörg Binnenbrücker, managing director of DuMont Ventures, and Christian Siegele, advisor to Active Venture Partners. The management of DuMont Ventures’ portfolio companies, numbering more than 20, will be taken over by the new fund.

The new fund launched today with a value in the mid-two figure millions. It will remain open to new investors for another 12 months. Capnamic will focus on areas including mobile, e-commerce, gaming, payments, advertising and software as a service (SaaS).

Other corporates who are involved in Capnamic include NRW.BANK, Nord-West Zeitung, HR Alpha and Gauselmann, as are several so-called family offices such as Wecken & Cie. and usbaecker capital.

According to the launch announcement, fund investors will gain early insights into new business models and can outsource parts of their innovation management, while other advantages include reducing risk through a broad investor base and significant leverage in subsequent financing rounds. The portfolio companies in turn benefit from better access to key market data and industry know-how, as well as to a variety of potential business partners, without having to enter into a strategic partnership.

The Capnamic team can boast experience of 25 years in the business and more than 100 investments. Binnenbrücker said: “The digital world offers extremely exciting topics and enormous business potential every day. Both new and established companies alike profit from this. We at Capnamic bring together traditional and new players and through our fund concept, the Capnamic network and our investment expertise, we create a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

His fellow founding partner at Capnamic, Christian Siegele, said: “The multi-corporate approach is a value driver for traditional companies and startups alike. We are focusing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on topics close to end consumers that can be distributed and scaled via digital media.”

He added that Capnamic’s first investments will be made in the seed stage.

The new fund’s model will undoubtedly prove popular to smaller corporates desperate to get a slice of the startup pie but not willing to risk going it alone, a la Deutsche Telekom. The idea of spreading the risk of investing in early-stage companies, meanwhile, is not new – the German Startups Group, for example, is aiming to do the same for private investors rather than large firms.

In any case, the new fund looks like good news for entrepreneurs – although the question of what happens to German startups once they reach a certain size remains a key issue in 20313.