Variety the Key as GSG Adds Fab, Zapitano and More to its Portfolio

By David Knight |

The German Startups Group (GSG) has made ten investments in the first ten months of its existence in a wide variety of different stage startups. The most recent four companies to join its portfolio, which were announced on Thursday, are a good illustration of that variety – they include Fab, a US design e-commerce startup which last year bought German flash sales site Casacanda for a reported $11m, incubator Rheingau Founders and TV-related platforms Zapitano and TVSmiles.

GSG was itself founded with a view to eventually going public, enabling everyday investors to put their money into Berlin’s booming tech scene without having to take the risk of betting the house on one startup in particular.

To that end, the decision to invest in very different kinds of company – both in terms of market and maturity – is a deliberate one. CEO Christoph Gerlinger, who founded GSG with Alexander Koelpin before the latter’s departure earlier this year, said: “Our recent investments in TVSmiles and Zapitano mean that we now also have a stake in the field of the ‘Second Screen TV’ and with Fab we also have a foot in the door of the fastest-growing online shop worldwide. And with our investment in Rheingau Founders we give our shareholders access to systematically and professionally planned startups at a very early stage.”

Fab and Rheingau Founders – which has had a hand in the founding of companies such as Lieferando and madvertise – are both generally well known, alongside Zapitano, which is a social platform that turns television into a public viewing event. Users add Zapitano as a second screen and interact with others. The iPad app is one of the top ten in the App Store.

TVSmiles, meanwhile, is a rewards program for TV advertising and is set to launch later this month as a mobile app connecting television, online and point of sale to offers new means of direct consumer marketing.

Previous GSG investments include good cause marketplace fraisr, games developer Infernum and accelerator Startupbootcamp.