Daily news bulletin on German startups

Today’s top stories: Management at Medikompass has bought out majority investor Holtzbrinck eLab; jobs board Absolventa introduces a monthly subscription fee for small businesses; fashion shop Zalando speeds up content delivery solution to keep up with demand; and 123Skins declares itself bankrupt.

Holtzbrinck sells majority share in Medikompass

Holtzbrinck sells majority share in MedikompassHoltzbrinck eLab has sold its 60 percent majority stake in Medikompass, a doctor dentist price comparison site. The shares were acquired in a management buyout by Jürgen Popp and Rony Vogel for an undisclosed price. Markus Schunk, CFO of Holtzbrinck Digital, said Holtzbrinck’s  commitment to health-themed investments – such as its successful netdoktor platform – would continue.  „[But] the business development of Medikompass GmbH unfortunately fell short of our expectations,“ he said.

Absolventa abandons free model

The graduate recruitment portal Absolventa is introducing a subscription fee for small businesses with fewer than 20 employees. In a move that will affect any startup hoping to recruit talent via the jobs board, Absolventa plans to charge between €100 and €150 per month to small companies. Absolventa described the move as an „unpleasant consequence“ of growth and said it needed to cover administrative costs.

Zalando speeds up site access

Zalando speeds up site accessBusiness must be booming at Zalando. The fashion portal has partnered with Level 3 Communications to provide leading edge caching services to ease the strain on its overburdened servers. Level 3, a global provider of fiber-based communications services, said content requests to Zalando would now be redirected to its own edge servers and content delivery network.  Frank Biedka, CEO of Zalando, said: „It’s our goal to make online shopping as easy as possible, and providing a fast, reliable website experience is critical to that end.“

123Skins declares bankruptcy

123skins declares bankruptcyThe design-your-own startup 123Skins is insolvent and officially filed for bankruptcy at a Berlin court on 13 August. The company made a strong start – including winning a Financial Times competition for new web ventures – but failed to live up to its early promise and struggled to become profitable. Joel Kaczmarek looks into the bankruptcy of 123Skins, and offers a brief post mortem.