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Rumours abound – is Axel Springer investing €50m in Project A? Written by Michelle Kuepper on 24. January 2013


Rumours are rife in the startup scene today that German media conglomerate Axel Springer is currently in negotiations with Berlin-based company builder Project A Ventures. Deutsche Startups broke the story, claiming that the publishing house is preparing to invest €50m in Project A.
The incubator is apparently in talks with multiple media organisations on potential financing, including Bertelsmann. However, the negotiations have yet to be finalised. Project A was unavailable for comment on the matter, as was Axel Springer.
This is yet another sign that the media conglomerate is interested in getting its feet firmly planted in the startup scene. Axel Springer currently runs the Media Entrepreneurs program, which aims to attract innovators from the media industry. The publishing house also invested in hy! Berlin this week, it now holds 49 per cent of the startup event and competition program.
Investing in Project A would allow Axel Springer to get into early-stage funding rounds which have corresponding earn-out structures. For the company builder, it could mean a more rigid structure with yet another investor with their own interests and ideas about the incubator’s direction.
Project A was founded by former Rocket Internet employees Florian Heinemann, Christian Weiss, Thies Sander and Uwe Horstmann last year and includes portfolio companies Semasio, online magazine Popdust, food delivery service Kochzauber and menswear brand Amerano. The company-builder has previously received funding from eCommerce giant Otto.
Image credit: Flickr user JMR_Photography

For related posts, check out

Zalando, Xing, Rocket, Groupon, Project A – the secret employee reviews of 5 notable German companies
Project A’s Shirtagram – an Instagram-inspired first foray into the app market
Bertelsmann, Holtzbrinck, Project A invest in Semasio