Axel Springer and Porsche to set up joint startup accelerator


Axel Springer has teamed up with Porsche to build a new accelerator for digital business models in Berlin. Both companies signed a joint venture contract on November 16th. It is planned to add more heavyweight partners from other industries in the near future. As of the beginning of 2018, Axel Springer Plug and Play will focus all its energy on the development of the existing portfolio. All initial investments into new companies will be made out of the new company.

Dr. Ulrich Schmitz, Managing Director Axel Springer Digital Ventures said: “In five successful years of build-up efforts we have become familiar with inspiring talents and have gained a share in the most promising companies. Big thanks go to our accelerator team under Jörg Rheinboldt and Frauke Mispagel, and our foundation partner Saeed Amidi. With this experienced team and a new partner, we now want to take the next step. What we have in common with Porsche Digital is the way we have consistently followed through in the process of digital transformation and our openness towards new business models.”

The level of support for our existing portfolio companies will not change. Neither as a shareholder and co-investor in future financing rounds, nor as a booster when it comes to intros, hacks and relevant insides. It is even getting better: With new partners, there will be more relevant connections and stronger bridges than before.

“Our aim is to work closely with company founders to get digital innovations up and running together as fast as possible. To achieve this, we are building an ecosystem across industries that helps startups in the early stages to develop their ideas in a way that is oriented towards customers and focused on success,” said Thilo Koslowski, Managing Director at Porsche Digital.

Startups who have applied for Program14 of Axel Springer Plug and Play which was planned for early 2018 will be contacted by us directly and informed about next steps. In the upcoming weeks, we will be making more important announcements with regards to the new company (such as the name of the baby 😉). So, stay tuned we are not done yet!

The setting up of the joint venture is subject to approval from the relevant antitrust authorities.