Four Million More Than Planned: Next Big Thing AG Raises 19 Million Euros
- Berlin-based venture studio successfully wraps up its Series B financing round
- An innovation-driven business model inspires investors from a wide range of backgrounds
- Investment strengthens Germany's role as a development center of future technologies
Berlin, July 26, 2021 – The Berlin-based venture studio Next Big Thing AG (NBT) reports the successful closing of its Series B financing round. The total investment amount of 19 million euros far exceeded the company’s self-set goal of 15 million. This success speaks to the power of NBT’s business model and proves its high credibility in the market. NBT attracted new and diverse investors such as the family office Blue Lion, the WIKA Group, roellpartners, Mujinzo Labs and Gemelo Holding — all five of which are world market leaders that are well-known as the industry’s "hidden" champions. In addition, NBT convinced several existing investors to participate in the Series B round that included EOS VC Europe I Fund, GPS Ventures, and the founders of the company.
Spirit of Change Passes on to Investors
The Blue Lion family office, which focuses on private investments by the Munich-based Schörghuber company dynasty, was inspired by the forward-thinking nature of NBT’s vision. "Our intensive analysis of the company and the inspiring discussions we had with its management convinced us that we wanted to become part of NBT's success story. Thanks to the high-caliber technological expertise pooled there, the company is well-positioned to play an active role in shaping the digital revolution. The entrepreneurial spirit that can be felt there suits us, and the existing attractive ventures offer many collaboration approaches for our future investments," says Florian Schörghuber from Blue Lion.
The WIKA Group, which specializes in innovative measurement technology, identified the technological potential of NBT’s business model as the clear motive for its investment decision. "Basically, we deal with many different technologies that can be used in the field of measurement and control technology in the future. Therefore, we are always interested in the latest developments in the fields of sensor technology, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, or even blockchain technology and follow them with great enthusiasm. NBT has created a unique environment at its Berlin location where investors, strategic partners, and young, focused technology companies can network, exchange ideas, and benefit from each other," says Thomas Hillerich, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions at the family-owned company with over 10,000 employees worldwide. "Already in the first weeks of the partnership between NBT and the WIKA Group, we could literally feel the lively cooperation, the great motivation of the entire NBT team as well as the entrepreneurial spirit of the ventures. We are convinced that we have made an exciting and promising investment in the future of the WIKA Group."
Deep-Tech Innovations: An Economic Necessity
Dr. Jan Stefan Roell, Managing Director of roellpartners and Chairman of the Supervisory Board and majority shareholder of the mechanical engineering company Zwick Roell, highlights the basic cooperative approach of the Berlin venture studio as his most important investment motive. "We find NBT's business model fascinating and promising. We are also pleased to have the ability to present NBT with our own ideas and startups in areas that interest us such as robotics, sensor technology, and real-time systems." As President of the Ulm Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jan Stefan Roell is particularly committed to the close networking between applied research and regional businesses.
The venture studio concept of NBT helps talented graduates, young founders, and ambitious entrepreneurs to develop their ideas by founding their own companies. In doing so, NBT acts as an early-stage investor whose comprehensive portfolio of services for company development specializes in serial startups in the Machine Economy. Only valid and sustainable business models are considered, minimizing investment risks and ensuring high success rates. Generally, companies launched by NBT reach market maturity quickly and prove to be sustainably profitable. NBT combines profound market knowledge with technological and commercial expertise to create the ideal conditions for truly disruptive innovations to flourish.
"With the capital increase from the Series B financing, we have gained new scope to successfully launch promising deep-tech startups and strengthen the existing portfolio," comments Maik Käbisch, co-founder and chairman of the supervisory board of NBT. "In addition to focusing on rapidly scalable business models, this also allows us to invest in core technologies for the future world of the Machine Economy. We want to further complement our strong team with the best minds and expand our market leadership," Maik Käbisch continues.
"Nevertheless, much more needs to be done to encourage the development of cutting-edge technology in Germany and Europe," adds NBT founder and CEO Harald Zapp. "We can no longer afford the inaction that has previously taken place in this country. The bulk of all disruptive innovations around machine economics, AI, blockchain and smart contracts (DeFi), the Internet of Things (IoT), and semiconductor technology now comes from North America and the Far East.“
In order to guarantee prosperity and future growth in Europe, business and politics should take joint action and readjust the framework conditions for deep-tech startups in Europe. NBT’s CEO sees an urgent need for action, for example, in the debureaucratization of university law to help in facilitating company spin-offs without federal barriers directly from the scientific sphere. "It is necessary to have a stable digital infrastructure in place that allows us to build disruptive solutions on cutting-edge technology. We need to regain our digital sovereignty by engaging with these novel technologies and use them to pursue innovative approaches and develop new business models, for example, in the context of industrial IoT with smart connected products in the B2B sector. Technological flights of fancy need digital foundations and infrastructures for innovations to emerge and unleash their full potential. When looking at the progress of Germany and Europe in a global context, there is still considerable room for improvement here," sums up Harald Zapp.
About Next Big Thing AG
Founded in 2016 in Berlin, Next Big Thing AG (NBT) is a venture studio for the Machine Economy that co-founds deep-tech ventures with aspiring founders to deliver real-world impact. With its comprehensive portfolio of startups in IoT, AI, and DLT, NBT provides long-term support for B2B companies, including the full range of development toolkits, innovation strategies, mentoring for entrepreneurs and startups, as well as technical expertise and smart financing to future-proof Germany's position as an innovation location in Europe.