Berlin-based APX gets additional funding from Axel Springer, Porsche; here’s why it’s dropping its accelerator

APX raises significant new funds from investors Axel Springer and Porsche and announces an ambitious new investment strategy. Based out of Berlin, APX is a very-early-stage startup investor, backed by Axel Springer and Porsche. It supports and partners with the most ambitious European founding teams and their pre-seed startups and beyond, mostly as their first investor. Since its debut in 2018, APX has invested in over 70 startups across more than 20 industries.

Raises significant funding

APX has secured additional funding from media and tech company Axel Springer and sports car manufacturer Porsche. This funding increased its overall investment amount for both new and existing portfolio companies to €55M. This lets APX invest up to €500k in portfolio startups before the Series A round.

“The significantly increased funding allows APX to expand its investment model. The new capital will increase the number of yearly initial investments in ambitious pre-seed startups with digital business models. APX will also increase its follow-on commitment. While the total investment amount per startup remains uncapped, APX will focus particularly on the earliest stages, deploying up to €500,000 portfolio startups even before a Series A,” says APX in the press release.

No more accelerator program

With its new investment strategy, APX moves from having an accelerator program to being a very-early-stage investor. It operates with the ambition to leave an even stronger footprint in the venture capital ecosystem and support the most ambitious European pre-seed startups.

The startup investor mentions, “APX launched in 2018 as a tailor-made accelerator program. It succeeded the Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator, which from 2013 to 2017 was the first investor in more than 100 startups, including fintech unicorn N26. With its new investment strategy, APX moves away from having an accelerator program to being a very-early-stage investor with an ambition of leaving an even stronger footprint in the venture capital ecosystem.”

To date, APX has invested in over 70 startups and aims to create a portfolio of nearly 200 companies by 2022. Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of the Executive Board and member of the Executive Board responsible for Finance and IT at Porsche AG, comments: “We are convinced that, despite Corona and precisely because of the fast transformation of our and other industries, it is important to invest massively in innovative technologies. The increase in our engagement in APX is a testament to the confidence we have in its mission to support the most promising startups.”

Julian Deutz, Chief Financial Officer at Axel Springer SE says: “It is an integral part of Axel Springer’s strategy as a tech company to support early-stage startups to promote innovative digital ideas. Our additional investment in APX ensures that they are able to identify and invest in the best digital startups to an even greater extent and actively support the founders on their way to success.”

Long-term commitment to startups

APX’s existing 100-day program will be replaced with unlimited venture development for its portfolio. This reflects APX’s long-term commitment to startups with the pledge to join future financing rounds with external investors.

“We have always been working closely with our portfolio companies even after 100 days. Therefore, having a fixed-term program made less and less sense to us. We are already a long-term partner in action with a strong network of hundreds of mentors, experts, portfolio companies, and co-investors,” says Jörg Rheinboldt, Managing Director of APX.

In order to better address the challenges by startups across industries, APX will leverage its entire staff’s diversity and expertise, thereby ensuring even closer support for each founding team. The investor will offer its portfolio companies the opportunity to work at its brand new Berlin office once the situation permits it. It is a carbon-neutral office space with areas dedicated to the various challenges of every-day work including collaboration, experience exchange, learning, focus, events and meetups, and it will be a community hub for the APX startups.

Startups – Silicon Canals

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