Berlin For the first time since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, a venture capitalist has taken over the German start-up scene. Finleap founder Ramin Niroumand’s Berlin-based fund Embedded Capital, which specializes in fintechs, is being acquired by New York-based venture capitalist Motive Partners. Both companies announced this on Tuesday morning.
Neither side wanted to comment on the purchase price. According to company circles, together they want to soon have assets under management of almost 300 million euros. “We were very happy with our investments and fundraising and were not looking for a partner. But when you get the chance to build something really big, you have to take it,” Niroumand told Handelsblatt.
Niroumand only founded the fund for early-stage investments at the beginning of the year and has made nine investments since then. Among other things, these flowed into Bezahl.de, the provider of digital company credit cards Pliant and the former Corona app Luca, which now operates a payment service. Investors in Embedded Capital include Lakestar founder Klaus Hommels and Wefox boss Julian Teicke.
“Now Ramin can concentrate on investing again,” Hommels said of the sale. And on a global level, which was not possible before. Like the entire team, Niroumand should work for motives and take on a leadership position.
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Teicke also welcomed the acquisition: “Ramin shaped the fintech landscape in Germany early on. The fact that an entrepreneur like him now also gets global support can only be good for the ecosystem.”
>> Read about this: Fintech expert Ramin Niroumand now manages his own fund
In 2014, Niroumand founded Finleap together with Jan Beckers – an incubator for start-ups that pursue digital business models in the financial sector, so-called fintechs. Niroumand has been responsible for the rise of many well-known young companies such as Solarisbank and the insurance specialist Clark.
In contrast, not much has been heard from Motive Ventures so far. The fund is managed by Mariano Belinky, founder of the venture capital business of the Spanish bank Santander. So far, however, Motive Ventures has only invested in five little-known start-ups.
The fintech scene is currently in a difficult situation. After record sums flowed into the start-ups last year, it is much more difficult to convince financiers this year. This is likely to put some young companies under pressure in the medium term.
>> Also read: A turning point for fintechs: “We need European champions”
Fintech experts like Peter Barkow expect that this will make mergers more likely: “Consolidation always accelerates when the financing markets are weak,” says Barkow. This year, for example, the Berlin fintech Penta went to the French competitor Qonto; Kontist was taken over by the Danish Ageras Group.
Large companies could now use the opportunity to strengthen themselves with acquisitions, says Barkow. “The quote from Ayrton Senna, who said that he couldn’t overtake 15 cars in the sunshine, fits in perfectly with this, but in the rain he can.”
More: Checking out unicorns: how these 36 billion German start-ups really are.