- Investments division manages more than 185 shareholdings
- Focus on young digital companies with innovative business models
- Another 40 new and follow-up investments in 2018
- Interactive website launched, also featuring social news
Bertelsmann is steadily expanding its global network of startup participations: After making more than 40 new investments in 2017, the media, services and education group again made around 40 new and follow-up investments in 2018 through the four funds that comprise its Bertelsmann Investments division. In all, Bertelsmann now owns stakes in more than 185 young companies through its Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), Bertelsmann Brazil Investments (BBI) and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) funds. Investments in digital companies with innovative business models play an important role in realizing Bertelsmann’s corporate strategy.
Founded in 2016, the division now has its own website at www.bertelsmann-investments.com , where visitors are given a detailed insight into Bertelsmann Investments’ structures and business topics. All news and press releases relating to Bertelsmann Investments are easily accessible on the homepage – complemented by social news, i.e. real-time news from the social media channels of the holdings. In the interactive section of the website, users can additionally filter all investments by subject area and region and view further information on the respective companies.
Karin Schlautmann, Head of Corporate Communications at Bertelsmann, commented: “In recent years, Bertelsmann has massively expanded its network of startup investments in the growth regions of China, India, Brazil and North America. Our new website offers, for the first time, a consistent and up-to-date overview of the currently 185 companies around the world in which Bertelsmann Investments holds strategic participations.
Most of the startups in which Bertelsmann owns holdings are active in lines of business that are highly relevant to the Group: They create innovative media offers, provide services in e-commerce, or operate in future-facing areas such as Fintech and Education.
China is one of the most promising growth markets in the world – including for Bertelsmann. Founded in 2008, the Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI) fund reflects the Group’s long-term commitment to China. BAI has to date invested in more than 130 startups, around a dozen of which are now listed on various stock exchanges. The fund recently acquired a stake in one of China’s largest music platforms, NetEase Cloud Music, with 600 million registered users.
Bertelsmann India Investment s (BII) focuses its investments on the digital business, education, media, and services sectors. The fund’s holdings include the Pepperfry furniture portal and the e-commerce enabler Kartrocket. In the field of higher education, BII is invested among others in the training company Eruditus Executive Education and the education provider iNurture.
Bertelsmann Brazil Investments (BBI) pools the Group’s investment activities in the strategic growth region of Brazil. Through BBI, Bertelsmann participates in several funds, including the “Bozano Educational 2” fund for investments in the field of medical education. The company also makes direct investments in the South American country: In 2015, Bertelsmann acquired a stake in Affero-Lab, Brazil’s leading provider of corporate training.
Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) is a venture capital fund that specifically invests in innovative, up-and-coming digital media companies in the United States. The portfolio encompasses around 55 investments, including startups such as the sports portal The Athletic, the next-generation publisher Clique Media, the e-commerce company Food52, and the online video marketer Jukin Media.
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 119,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.2 billion in the 2017 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for entrepreneurship and creativity. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.