The VC firm German Startups Group today announced it invested in the FinTech startup Bezahlt.de / Blackbill and increased its stake in the e-commerce startup Juniqe. The Berlin-based investor is developing a “patient capital” approach that recently became kind of popular due to the fact that it can generate higher returns in the VC segment.
The new portfolio company Bezahlt.de/Blackbill offers factoring solutions for freelancers, self-employed entrepreneurs as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. The Bezahlt.de/Blackbill platform has just been launched with the goal to carry out the risk assessment automatically within seconds for the first time and to reduce the default risk so that by, for example, simply taking a picture of an outgoing invoice with a mobile phone the invoice amount can be collected almost immediately. The startup asserts, that up until now this market segment has not been sufficiently addressed since individual risk assessments cause high costs. The founding team – four members – has 13 years of FinTech experience. They employ already established scoring concepts and achieves lower costs and process complexities through digitalisation and automation.
The founding team around CEO Sebastian Diemer has already collectively built one of the most successful German FinTech startups (Kreditech), which offers private loans on the basis of a data-driven scoring model. Further investors in Bezahlt.de/Blackbill are, among others, Point Nine Capital und Fly Ventures.
German Startups Group CEO Christoph Gerlinger comments on the investment in Blackbill: “Through Blackbill we expand our portfolio by another very promising investment in this sector. Sebastian Diemer and his team have previously demonstrated that they are proven big data experts in the FinTech segment. Blackbill now tackles an entirely new, very attractive FinTech segment. We are convinced that team will be successful again and that they can grow considerably in the coming years.”
German Startups Group also has increased its stake in Juniqe – a lifestyle brand for handpicked and affordable art. Designs of international artists are offered on posters and prints for walls as well as on shirts, stationery, and home textiles by the online shop. The production is made to order, which is why the business model does not require a large inventory and generates higher margins. Juniqe already ships, according to the company, to 13 European countries. It grew 190% p.a. on average in revenue and achieved a double-digit million revenue already in 2015. Juniqe was ranked first on CB Insights’ list of “15 High Momentum German Early Stage Startups” in August 2015. The founders appeared on the Forbes list “30 Under 30” in the category of retail and e-commerce in January 2016. EU-Startups.com named it among the 10 German startups to look out for in 2016.
German Startups Group has already invested in Juniqe with the Series A financing round. The increase of the stake is a result of investor’s approach to invest in promising companies, particularly of serial entrepreneurs, as well as in early stage companies and companies with limited employment of capital. The investors intend to gradually increase the investment in case of positive growth indicators. This is unreservedly possible since German Startups Group does not provide its capital in the form of venture capital funds with limited terms, but as an investment company and therefore “evergreen”. This approach has recently become known as “patient capital” in the US.