German Startups Group ends the year 2015 with five new investments and as one of the year's best newcomers to the stock exchange

(PresseBox) ( Berlin, )
- Five new minority holdings, predominantly startups in the growth stage
- Very good ranking among German newcomers to the stock exchange when considering opening and year-end price
- COO Nikolas Samios appointed Managing Director as of 1 January 2016
- Release of business figures for 2015 already planned for February 2016SoundCloud, maj
- Licensing agreement of key holding or contract for majority holding Exozet, and anticipated market development allow for optimistic outlook for 2016

German Startups Group, the second most active venture capital investor in Germany since 2012 (CB Insights, 2015), draws a positive conclusion for the past fiscal year. Through its investment in five attractive startups, the Berlin VC investor was able to expand its portfolio to 28 holdings that are of particular significance to the company. The new holdings are Armedangels, Fiagon, Senic, Service Partner One, and Tictail. In addition, German Startups Group has expanded its stake in its portfolio company TVSmiles. German Startups Group will thus further participate in the entrepreneurial activities of, in their view, some of the most proficient, experienced, and talented German founders and entrepreneurs.

Christoph Gerlinger, CEO of German Startups Group, comments, "Each new holding in itself represents the chance of a substantial increase in the companies' value. Innovative strength as well as the expertise, experience, and hard work of the entrepreneurs are a crucial factor. Through our listing, we provide investors with access to participate in this through a share in German Startups Group."

German Startups Group shares count among the most successful listings in 2015: Already at the start of trading on the first listing day, 11 November 2015, the shares were able to record an increase in share price of 14% in comparison to the issuing price of 2.50 euros. According to our own research, this accounts for the highest return on subscription of any of the 24 new issuances on the German Stock Exchange in 2015. The shares of German Startups Group listed in the Entry Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange ended the year with a share price of 3.25 euros (Xetra closing price). This constitutes an increase in share price of 30% compared to the issuing price and thus, according to own research, is the second best performance of all 19 Germany-based newcomers to the stock exchange. Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers KGaA and quirinbank AG accompanied the transaction as joint bookrunners. Christoph Gerlinger comments, "We are proud of our successful debut at the stock exchange and the performance of our shares during the first weeks. The investors seem to appreciate our business model."

Nikolas Samios, who has been COO and authorised signatory for German Startups Group for one and a half years and accompanied it with his consulting firm Cooperativa, was appointed as Managing Director, effective from 1 January 2016.

German Startups Group will release the business figures for 2015 already at the beginning of February 2016. "We were able to continue the positive development of the first half in the second half of 2015, and I am confident that this will be reflected in the business figures," says Christoph Gerlinger.

German Startups Group is optimistic about the year 2016. On the one hand, it is starting the new fiscal year with tail wind gained through its key holding SoundCloud's long-pursued and very significant licensing agreement with Universal Music Group, the largest record label worldwide, as well as through the major contract won by German Startups Group's majority holding Exozet. On the other hand, the signs regarding the startup scene remain positive according to the assessment of German Startups Group.

"The German startup scene will develop very dynamically in our opinion - particularly in Berlin, its unchallenged center. The technologisation and digitalisation of numerous industries is just beginning, and the market potential of many young companies is enormous. And it is these disruptive innovations that German Startups Group benefits from directly. Irrespective of the economic cycle, fiscal policies, commodity prices, or the capital market environment, innovation creates company value even during volatile periods: It is just not that easy for investors to participate directly. Through our shares we build a bridge between the startup scene and the capital market so that investors have the chance to partake in the tirelessly creative activities of German founders and software engineers," Christoph Gerlinger summarises.

A summary of German Startups Group's new holdings:

- Armedangels is a social fashion e-commerce company headquartered in Cologne that focuses on sustainability, fair working conditions, and environmentally-friendly, non-hazardous material. The company sells its clothing online and through conventional distribution channels in five different countries. Armedangels appeals to a strongly growing customer group that places great value on the aforementioned criteria. Since its foundation in 2007 as a pure online shop with just a few T-shirt designs, the company has successfully established itself as a young, sustainable brand. Armedangels generates substantial turnovers, is growing strongly, employs over 50 staff, and is winner of the Wirtschaftswoche Entrepreneur Competition.

- Fiagon is a MedTech startup that develops and manufactures innovative surgical navigation systems of the latest generation with its patented "Flexsensor" technology. With its electromagnetic navigation technology, Fiagon, together with world-renowned doctors, set a new standard in medical ENT navigation in recent years. This unique technology is already being used internationally, from the headquarters in Hennigsdorf near Berlin, beyond European borders as well as the US and China for oral and maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, and spine surgery. According to their own statements, Fiagon recorded a preliminary turnover of more than 5 million euros in 2015 and shows strong and sustained growth.

- Senic is a young Berlin hardware startup active in the Internet of Things industry that has developed a gesture-based wireless "smart home controller" for music, lighting, and room temperature with its product "Numio", which has won the German Design Award among others. Senic has successfully completed the Y-Combinator programme in the USA, which is known as a success factory only accessible for the best founders who have produced some of the biggest startup success stories, such as Airbnb and Dropbox. The startup has already received pre-orders amounting to 500,000 USD through a crowdfunding campaign in the US that was received with enthusiasm. Through Y-Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, one of the most successful and well-known US venture capital funds, and the Start Fund, a joint venture fund of the successful tech investors Yuri Milner and Ron Conway, are already invested in Senic.

- Service Partner One digitalises the multi-billion market for office management that, up until now, has been served almost exclusively in an analogue way. It bundles services, such as cleaning, maintenance, relocations, and deliveries of e.g. beverages, fruit baskets, or office equipment on one platform. Office managers and employees can quickly and effortlessly book the services in one central location via iPad. The long-term customer retention that Service Partner One enjoys as an all-in-one service provider offers the opportunity for cross-selling of additional products and services. Service Partner One has already rolled out their services to more than 200 offices. The Berlin-based company currently has more than 50 employees and is strongly expanding in order to become the leading online platform for office management in Europe.

- Tictail enables all retailers, even so-called mom-and-pop-stores, to open a free online shop within minutes and without previous knowledge of any kind, just by using the Tictail mobile or desktop app. The storeowners can thereby quickly and effortlessly accept orders online, alongside their stationery retail store and thus generate additional turnover. At the same time, Tictail aggregates the offered products of all retailers on their website and therefore forms a digital shopping mall of sorts that helps the individual retailer immediately draw online visitors. Furthermore, storeowners can distribute their products and services via paid additional features such as Facebook shop integration. Tictail's goal is, through the mobilisation of the fragmented retailer scene, to become the most popular e-commerce platform worldwide. The technological focus lies on an interactive, user-friendly design that can be intuitively used by storeowners without any prior knowledge. More than 100,000 retailers from approximately 140 countries already use Tictail. The Tictail app was rewarded, already at its launch in 2014, as "best new app" by Apple as well as Google.
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