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Catagonia and Progression buddy up to take Berlin startups to Silicon Valley Written by Nina Fowler on 5. July 2012

Palo Alto - Stanford University Palm Drive

Palo Alto - Stanford University Palm Drive
It can be a crowded world out there for VCs – and a tough one if you’re trying to get your portfolio companies into new markets. Yesterday Catagonia Capital (Berlin) announced a new relationship with Progression Partners (San Francisco) to help both do just that.
Progression will offer Catagonia’s portfolio companies, which include social television app (pictured below) and mobile messaging operator TynTec, access to its contacts, experts and co-working space in Menlo Park, San Francisco. In return, Catagonia will help Progression, backer of US-based B2B services Brandworkz, Cogniance and Cloudmade, take its portfolio companies to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Since TynTec already has a presence in the US and just hired a new sales VP, it’s likely to be the first of Catagonia’s portfolio companies to make use of the new partnership.
Tweek spokeswoman Nadia Boegli said only that while the company is still focusing on Germany and the UK, “in general, I would say almost every startup would love to be represented in the US and build a successful US market…”

The US market dwarfs Germany. Is that really a fair trade?

Yes, Catagonia partner and founder Ralph Eric Kunz tells VentureVillage. “Obviously the US is larger but the DACH region is very difficult to enter from the outside if you don’t have feet on the ground,” he says, and Germany is still the largest market in Europe. For now, it’s a straight business development deal but the two VCs are interested in doing cross-financing later if the early relationship goes well.
Progression managing partner Juha Christensen, who worked with Kunz while he was at Macromedia (now Adobe) and Kunz was at Nokia, is also a venture partner at Copenhagen-based Sunstone Capital, an investor in Berlin favourites Gidsy and Amen.

Want to get to Silicon Valley? Here’s another option.

Berlin startups looking for another way in should check out the German Silicon Valley Accelerator, a government-backed programme that offers startups three to six months of mentoring in the San Francisco Bay Area. Winners of a spot in the programme have included Ondango, UPcload, ProductsUp, Customer Alliance, 6Wunderkinder and ParStream, and the next round of applications closes on August 31 2012.

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