NBT Expands Portfolio with Newly Founded Ventures

Next Big Thing AG Expands Portfolio with Newly Founded Ventures
  • Machine Economy as a response to the digitalization push
  • Newly founded ventures in the areas of finance, machine learning, and logistics
  • Promising progress in the development of the portfolio companies

Berlin, March 10, 2021 – Next Big Thing AG (NBT), a Berlin-based venture studio for the Machine Economy, is making its way safely through the current economically challenging time and is paving the way toward the future with innovative technologies. This is represented by several new venture foundations, and also by a number of successes within the existing portfolio.

Crisis as a Driver of Digitization

Ever since people were required to practice social distancing, digitization received an enormous boost in the economy last year. According to a study by the Bitkom digital association, more than 84 percent of the companies surveyed said that the Coronavirus pandemic had made digitization more important for their own company. As a venture studio and early-stage investor for companies in the Machine Economy, NBT fits into this ecosystem of increasing digitization and is one of the pioneers of digital B2B business models. In addition, as an accredited intermediary of Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB), NBT provides financial support to startups during the ongoing crisis, so that they can continue to grow and benefit from economic stability even in difficult times.

"The past year has shown just how groundbreaking modern technologies are for hedging against external shocks. In this context, the Machine Economy will also continue to gain importance. Our venture studio model is a safe way to address current challenges in the business world with high-tech solutions and thus demonstrate a stable business model for the future. Venture studios not only provide the expertise for leapfrogging innovation and necessary venture capital, but their extensive experience in the value creation process also minimizes risks and increases success rates. We are also strengthening this approach with our recently established partnership with the Global Startup Studio Network (GSSN)," says Harald Zapp, founder, and CEO of NBT. "Our work has transformational power - our approaches are developed by experts who live and breathe IoT, blockchain, machine learning, and AI. NBT will continue to prove that in 2021.“

Promising New Startups

The new ventures in NBT’s portfolio are an ideal starting point for the growth topics of finance, machine learning, and logistics. Skytale, for example, aims to create an open financial world where there is no distinction between fat and cryptocurrency transactions for both businesses and individuals. By using a digital vault and integrated solution, the traditional and crypto financial worlds will coexist and create unique synergies that benefit their customers. With the Makinas DevOps platform, machine learning models can be deployed and orchestrated on smartphones and other embedded devices. As a company in the chemical industry, Vitreo optimizes the management of transport containers. With IoT sensors on IBCs (intermediate bulk containers) and intelligent software solutions, Vitreo brings more visibility and real-time data to this important industry segment of chemical supply chains. In 2021, NBT plans to spin off 10 additional companies.

Developments in the Existing Portfolio

At the same time, NBT's portfolio ventures continue to expand and successfully establish themselves in their respective business areas. ConcR, for example, which makes sensors for real-time concrete hardness measurement using the maturity index method, is an official startup partner of Oracle. And Sensry, which provides small and medium-sized enterprises with access to innovative semiconductor technologies and IoT technology, has just announced a long-term strategic partnership with Micro Systems Technologies (MST Group).

AUXOLAR, a company in the NBT portfolio, has also closed another round of financing to continue its success story with this fresh influx of capital. AUXOLAR, which engages in distributed and sustainable energy generation, achieved significant triple-digit revenue growth in 2020. It also launched solargenius®, an IoT platform developed in partnership with NBT for solar power and data management in multifamily buildings. With a fresh Pre-Series A capital round behind it, the startup will push for a nationwide rollout in 2021. The goal is to establish its technology as the new marketplace standard for socially responsible and energy-efficient retrofits of residential neighborhoods

NBT Sets Itself up for IPO

NBT has also secured its own round of financing in preparation for its IPO. The company has successfully completed the first closing of its pre-IPO financing and plans to complete the Series B round in the amount of fifteen million euros in the coming weeks. The lead investor in the first closing round is a Munich-based family office. This is a good sign for the creditability of NBT as a number of existing investors, including FinLab EOS VC Fund and GPS Ventures, and management was also involved in the first financing round. Maik Käbisch, founder and chairman of the supervisory board of NBT, is very pleased with this development: "With this financing round, we can also underline the positive development of NBT on the capital side. With the now envisaged IPO, we are consistently taking the next step to becoming the leading deep-tech platform in Europe. A big thank you to our current and future investors."

Acting as a venture studio and early-stage investor, NBT provides a complete offering in building companies for the Machine Economy. In doing so, the venture studio combines technological understanding and innovative leadership to enable a more prosperous and sustainable society. NBT focuses on IoT, combined with machine learning, AI, and blockchain technology to develop data-driven B2B business models of the future. Going forward, business models will be characterized by the significant influence of these technologies. Therefore, together with partner IMP Consulting, NBT will continue to explore and realize the untapped potential of this business area, building on the report "Current Trends in the Machine Economy".

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.

Press Contact

Lena Wiegand
Fink & Fuchs AG
+49 611 74131-0