This week’s top stories: Penny auction site Madbid secures investment from Atomico for European expansion; French parcel-by-carpool service launches in Germany; Swedish investment group Kinnevik acquired 12% of Rocket Internet; Spanish VC Grupo Intercom invests in booking engine Deutsche Bus; and deGut, the entrepreneur conference held in Berlin in October, offers prizes for ‚champion founders‘.
Madbid poised for European expansion
British penny-auction portal Madbid has secured Series A funding of €4.7 million from Atomico Ventures, the technology investment group set up by Skype co-founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom. Juha Koski, founder and CEO of Madbid, said the money is earmarked for new technology and further expansion in Europe, where the German market is firmly in his sights.
French parcel-by-carpool service launches in Germany
If you belong to a carpool, you might use the service just to chauffeur a suitcase, a parcel or your grandmother’s guinea pig from one city to another. This is the idea behind French private parcel service Carpoolcargo, which has just launched in Germany. Registration is currently free for both senders and drivers. The membership fee, when it comes in, will be €12 a year.
Kinnevik holds 12 percent of Rocket Internet
The half year report of Samwer brothers‘ incubator Rocket Internet reveals that 12 percent of the shares are now held by Kinnevik following a €35 million acquisition in February. As reported by Exciting Commerce, the Swedish investment group also has an option to increase its shareholding to 25 percent. Rocket has investments in numerous German startups, including Zalando (shoes), immobilo (real estate search) and Panfu (games).
Spanish VC invests in Deutsche Bus
The Spanish venture capitalist firm Grupo Intercom has invested in the Berlin startup Deutsche Bus, which provides a booking engine for organising group bus tours throughout Germany. The system has already been integrated on various festival websites. Even the shaky monopoly of long distance bus services are likely to benefit from the business model.
deGut offers prize for ‚champion founders‘
The deGut conference for founders rolls into Berlin on the 29th – 30th October and is running a competition to find the „Champion Founders“ of 2010. deGUT is one of the key conferences in the calendar, with exhibitors from all over Germany and a comprehensive seminar program. To enter the competition, you need to have founded a startup after 31 December 2004. Three winners each win €6,000 euros. Apply before 10 August.