Article Link

Now a German Broadcaster Wants a Slice of the U.S. Startup Pie


Stefan Nicola

September 20, 2018, 7:00 AM GMT+2

7 Global Capital has raised $75 million, said sources

Investment an expansion of ProSiebenSat.1’s VC strategy

ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE is backing a new venture capital fund that seeks to gain access to promising U.S. startups by helping them expand in Europe.

The German broadcaster is one of several limited partners of the Luxembourg-based 7 Global Capital GP Sàrl, owning 25 percent in the fund, the company said.

7GC has raised $75 million from European companies, family offices and private investors, and plans to raise another $75 million over the next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

ProSiebenSat.1 said it would help with “expertise and support” if one of the fund’s portfolio companies were to expand to Germany.

7GC’s pitch to U.S. startups is that it can help them find sales or distribution partnerships with established corporations in Europe. In return the fund will get access to highly competitive financing rounds for some of America’s most successful startups.

In March 7GC joined Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Liberty Global Plc and others in a $22 million funding for Cheddar Inc. to fuel the financial news site’s international expansion. It also invested in New York-based online pharmacy startup Capsule in June.

The backing of 7GC is another arm in ProSiebenSat.1’s investment strategy. The German company currently backs media startups via its SevenVentures investment arm, and also invests via its P7S1 accelerator.

Henrik Kraft, who spent a decade knitting telecoms and media deals at KKR & Co before leaving to focus on his private portfolio, also invested just under $1 million in 7 Global Capital.

“For these startups, access to capital is not an issue,” Kraft said. “The reason you get to invest in them is that you can add value -- and I believe the fund’s operational mindset provides that.”