Bertelsmann Investments Plans to Continue High Investment Activity in 2023
- 54 new and 31 follow-on investments in the past financial year
- Currently more than 300 active holdings
- High level of investment activity to continue in 2023
- Focus on Digital Health business area; 60 million euros already invested
- 1.7 billion euros invested since launch of Bertelsmann Investments
Gütersloh, April 6, 2023 – Bertelsmann Investments (BI) made 54 new and 31 follow-on investments in companies and funds in the past financial year. BI pools Bertelsmann’s global venture capital activities and the newly created growth unit Bertelsmann Next, which advances the entrepreneurial development of new growth sectors and lines of business for Bertelsmann. Here, BI strengthened its commitment in the Digital Health business especially, through various fund and direct investments totaling €60 million.
Carsten Coesfeld, CEO of Bertelsmann Investments, said: “Bertelsmann Investments had a successful year in 2022 with a high level of investment activity. In the current financial year, besides investing in our funds, we will place a special emphasis on Bertelsmann Next. The main focus in the expansion of our new growth areas is on digital health, where we see great potential, especially in the U.S.”
Bertelsmann Next investments included capital commitments to the General Catalyst, YZR, and Rock Health funds, as well as acquisitions of shares in innovative healthcare companies including Ada Health, a symptom checker app, and SubjectWell, a pharmaceutical services provider. Additional investments were made earlier this year in Paytient, a provider of patient financing solutions, and in the radiology AI company Deepc.
Deniz Pielsticker, CFO of Bertelsmann Investments, explains: “Under the Group's Boost and Next programs, Bertelsmann Investments will invest substantially in the establishment and expansion of growing companies worldwide in the years ahead. In doing so, we invest according to clearly defined criteria and aim to achieve a sustainable increase in the value of our investment portfolio."
Under its Boost strategy, the Group’s parent Bertelsmann is making available a company-wide investment volume of between €5 billion and €7 billion by 2026 for the expansion of existing businesses and the development of new business.
At the end of 2022, Bertelsmann Investments held a total of 333 investments through its three international funds and central investments. Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI) made 15 new investments in FY 2022. Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) invested in the CRM software company Vymo and the health tech service provider Orange Health, among others. In connection with the Group-wide Boost strategy, the years ahead will see investments of US$ 500 million in India, in sectors including e-commerce, health tech, ed-tech, HR-tech and fintech. Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) made 28 new and 17 follow-on investments in 2022, including in the market research platforms Suzy and Antenna.
BI also further expanded its central investment activities beyond the three main funds BAI, BII, and BDMI. For instance, BI made its first own direct investments in Southeast Asia by acquiring shares in the healthcare companies Speedoc and Naluri, and also made capital commitments there for Vertex Ventures and Openspace Ventures funds.
Shobhna Mohn, Chief Strategy Officer of BI, elaborates: “Besides China, India, Brazil, the U.S. and Europe, we have also been exploring other growing markets for several years now, including the Africa and Southeast Asia regions. Here we see further potential with a mature venture capital environment and ambitious entrepreneurs, for making successful investments together with locally established partners.”
Since its launch in 2006, Bertelsmann Investments has already invested €1.7 billion in more than 400 digital companies and funds. The financial returns in the same period were already more than €1 billion.
About Bertelsmann Investments
Bertelsmann Investments (BI) comprises Bertelsmann’s global venture capital activities as well as the Bertelsmann Next growth unit. The venture capital arm includes the Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) funds, as well as selected fund and direct holdings in markets including Europe, the United States, Brazil, Southeast Asia and Africa. The Bertelsmann Next unit advances the entrepreneurial development of new growth sectors and business areas, including digital health, mobile gaming and HR Tech. To date, around €1.7 billion has been invested in more than 400 innovative companies and funds through Bertelsmann Investments. Bertelsmann Investments currently holds over 300 active investments worldwide through its network of start-ups and funds.