Gründerszene Weekly: a roundup of German internet news from the week
Recap of the week’s top stories: Zalando closed latest round of financing with Kinnevik on board; Txtr has partnered with Asus to distribute eBooks; games startup United Prototype debuted its first game Fliplife; and profits at the media group DuMont slumped after a year of poor ad sales.
Zalando adds Kinnevik to shareholder list
In the latest funding round at Zalando, the Swedish investment group Kinnevik has joined the list of shareholders in the e-commerce site with an acquisition of 2.7 percent of the company. Existing shareholders Holtzbrinck Ventures and Tengelmann E-commerce also increased the number of their absolute shares, giving Zalando a fresh injection of capital.
Txtr and Asus become partners
The Berlin-based startup txtr is expected to announce a partnership deal with Taiwanese laptop manufacturer Asus at next week’s IFA Berlin conference. According to Digital Reader, Txtr has agreed to manage the European Asus eBook store that will be launched this autumn. Txtr was an obvious choice as a partner, as it already has contracts with most of the publishers in Europe that offer eBooks. The digital bookshop will sell eBooks under the Asus brand name, with the two partners sharing the proceeds equally.
Social game Fliplife launches
The first offering from social games developer United Prototype has just been launched.Fliplife is a social gaming experience – a kind of 2-D Second Life – in which players get to manage a virtual career and become CEO of their own company. United Prototype is the latest venture by Sevenload founders Thomas Bachem and Ibrahim Evsan. Fliplife raised a 7-figure sum in Series A round funding from Rapidshare’s VC arm Rapidtainment andHightech Gründerfonds.
DuMont’s profits down 96%
The Cologne-based media group DuMont recorded a decline in profit of 96 percent in 2009 after a drop off in advertising revenues. The company’s annual report shows that in 2008 net profit was hovering just under €13m, while the following year it fell to slightly more than €460,000. In response, “strict cost management” measures have been brought in for all divisions.
Johann Butting joins Holtzbrinck Digital
The publishing group Georg von Holtzbrinck has brought in Johann Butting to run its internet business arm Holtzbrinck Digital. Butting previously worked at Google as head of the European AdSense business. His predecessor Michael Brockhaus has moved over to Holtzbrinck Ventures, where he retains responsibility for the digital portfolio and continuing Holtzbrinck’s international expansion.