Exit time: Germany’s biggest startup sales, acqui-hires and takeovers of 2013 so far

Ludwig Kuester 2013-07-02 3

Who says Germany doesn’t get exits? Here’s an overview of startups who’ve sold, partnered up and been bought back in the first half of 2013.

Burda pays an eight-figure amount for Edelight

The trio behind shopping platform Edelight, including founders Peter Ambrozy and Tassilo Bestler and CEO Steffen Belitz, only held half of the company’s shares when they exited to its investor, Burda. It took an eight-figure amount for Burda to take over the remaining shares in this Stuttgart-founded community, which offers personal purchase suggestions.

Researcher network Mendeley bought by Elsevier

Mendely experienced an all-round success when it sold to academic book publisher Elsevier for between $69 and $100m. The network has attracted 2.3m users in support of digitalising research publications. The London and New York-based startup will now be integrated into the publishing house. Mendeley has a similar concept to Berlin-based startup ResearchGate, which in June announced a $35m funding round from Bill Gates, amongst others.

JouleX secures $107m

JouleX had one good reason to celebrate in May this year. Close to five years after launch, the startup made a $107m exit to US corporation Cisco. Launched in Munich, the startup offers energy efficient solutions – helping users cut costs by monitoring and managing IT and network usage.

GetYourGuide’s takeover of Gidsy

Travel booking platform GetYourGuide took over Berlin-based experience marketplace Gidsy. Launched in 2011, Gidsy managed to gain a lot of attention via clever marketing but this failed to translate into long-term growth or monetary success.

Gidsy team

Mydays extends ProSiebenSat.1′s travel range

The investment arm of the ProSiebenSat.1 group, Seven Ventures, extended the travel offers of its mother company by acquiring Mydays. The startup, which offers out-of-the-ordinary travel experiences, gained access to the TV network’s wide reach and powerful advertising opportunities.

Axel Springer acquires social TV startup TunedIn

German media corporation Axel Springer played a prominent role in the startup scene this year. With the acquisition of TunedIn for an unknown sum, the corporation boosted its social TV offering. The startup was one of Germany’s forerunners in the second-screen industry (running an additional screen parallel to a TV to present viewers with accompanying applications).

Aupeo sells to Panasonic

Berlin streaming platform Aupeo secured a prominent and successful sale – to Panasonic Automotive Systems. Together, the two companies want to target the automotive industry with more advanced in-car entertainment experiences. The sale was an important signal that traditional companies and startups can benefit by working together.

Other significant exits… Pling, Kununu and Gigalo

Crowdfunding platform Pling found a new owner in Clemens Tönnies, who took over the majority of the company for a six-figure sum. LinkedIn clone Xing acquired employer assessment platform Kununu for €3.6m after two years’ of collaboration. And, although it’s unlikely to have been a glamorous exit, it’s worth mentioning Fiverr clone Gigalo, taken over by former Hanse Ventures head developer Christian Steiger.

DailyDeal bought back from Google

The brothers behind Groupon clone DailyDeal, Fabian and Ferry Heilemann, bought their startup back from Google two years after the search giant paid $114m for it. In February, the Heilemanns reclaimed the startup for an unknown amount following rumours of poor performance. Now, the brothers plan to use the site’s existing network of contacts in new ways.

What will the second half of the year bring?

All in all, the exits so far set up optimism for the second half of the year. We’ll have to wait and see whether  Trivago’s spectacular €500m sale last year will be topped in 2013…

Translated by Michelle Kuepper
Image credit: Flickr user javi.velazquez

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