Gründerszene Today: Allyve, Txtr, Holtzbrinck Digital, Centralway, Sandbox, Betapitch
Today’s top stories: Thoralf Nehl and KFW Banking Group have joined the shareholders‘ list at Allyve; Txtr and computer manufacturer Asus are going into the eBook business together; Johann Butting, formerly of Google Europe, has been put in charge of Holtzbrinck Digital; entrepreneurs‘ network Sandbox has received investment from Centralway; and young entrepreneurs have a couple of weeks left to submit business ideas to Betapitch in Berlin.
Funding round at Allyve
Personalised web portal Allyve has closed a successful funding round. Existing shareholder Ammer Partners injected fresh capital and now holds just under half the shares, according to Deutsche Startups. Other investors included KFW Banking Group and serial entrepreneur Thoralf Nehls, founder and CEO of the software development firm Facton.
Txtr inks deal with Asus
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.
Ex-Googler heads up 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.
Centralway invests in Sandbox network
The Swiss venture capitalist group Centralway has acquired shares in Sandbox, one of Europe’s hottest social networking startups. Sandbox is a sort of LinkedIn for the entrepreneurial elite. Membership is by invite only, gathering together a „global community of hand-selected young achievers and innovators under 30“, and includes for example Felix Haas, founder and CEO of the online event management and ticketing solution Amiando. The amount of the investment was undisclosed, with the press release talking only of Centralway’s „minority participation“ in Sandbox.
One for the diary: Betapitch
Budding startup entrepreneurs have till 19 September to submit a one-page pitch of their business idea to Betapitch. Ten shortlisted candidates will then be invited to pitch live – either in German or English – on 2 October in Berlin before a panel. Winners will be given six months‘ worth of free deskspace (for a startup team with a maximum six members) at Betahouse, where the emphasis is on supporting entrepreneurship, networking and mutual resource-sharing between new startups.