€40m: Axel Springer acquires 78% of ShopAlike / Ladenzeile


By the end of last week, the German media giant Axel Springer has announced the acquisition of a majority interest in the Visual Meta GmbH. The Berlin based company was founded at the end of 2008 and operates shopping portals in Germany (Ladenzeile.de) and in six other European countries (for e.g. ShopAlike.co.uk). The portals are a sort of shopping centre that offer you “all shops on one site” and focus mainly on the categories shoes, fashion, bags, jewelry and furniture.

According to Deutsche-Startups.de, Axel Springer paid about €40 million for roughly 78% of the company. The founders of Visual Meta (Robert M. Maier and Johannes Schaback) will remain with the company over the long term as managing partners.

Michael von Stern, Head of Commerce at the Electronic Media division at Axel Springer AG stated: “Visual Meta is market leader, profitable, dynamically growing, founder-managed and thus an excellent enhancement of our performance marketing portfolio.”

Through Visual Meta’s platforms (like Ladenzeile.de and ShopAlike.co.uk) online shops provide consumers with visual and text search options to browse through the product range of online stores. Revenue is generated through success-based compensation for product views. Previous investors, who now sold their stakes, included well known players like Rocket Internet. The incubator of the Samwer brothers owned about 42% of Visual Meta.


  1. What businesses have been started and/or funded by the Samwer brothers?…

    Exits * Alando (eBay copy-cat, sold to eBay in 1999, for 43 million USD) [1] * Jamba (sold to VeriSign in 2004, for 223 million EUR) [2] * iLove+Jamba (sold to VeriSign in 2004, for 273 million USD ) [3] * StudiVZ (sold to Georg von Holtzbrinck Publish…

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