WHU General

Start-ups Investment Report

The funding rounds, exits, takeovers, and IPOs of WHU start-ups in Q4/2022

Levity, a start-up based in Berlin and started by WHU alumni Gero Keil and Thilo Hüllmann (both BSc, 2018), has managed to secure US$8.3M in a seed funding round in October. And it’s incredible moments like these that epitomize the unique entrepreneurial ecosystem at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. Such achievements are impressive on their own—but the stories behind them even more so.

Throughout the whole process, from founding to the first funding round, start-ups like Levity have been supported by the WHU network. The company was established by the two classmates in 2018 and further fleshed out by other WHU talents, including Arne Wolfewicz, Friedrich Schack, Adrian Goergen, and Anja Gramatzki. Early financing came from WHU angel investors Jan Deepen, Florian Richter, Andreas Assum, and Chris Schagen. Shikha Ahluwalia, a WHU alumna and venture capitalist from Balderton Capital, also believed in the start-up, which offers modular digitalization and automation processes, and invested. Levity’s story serves as an excellent example of an entrepreneurship ecosystem and a strong alumni network working hand in hand and making available a wide range of possibilities.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, there were many developments at the start-ups founded by WHU students and alumni.

October

- Lukas Puender (BSc, 2014; MSc, 2017) and his founding partners Peter Merkert and Philipp Mayer succeeded in securing €6.5M for their start-up retraced during a funding round. ALSTIN Capital has become their chief investor in the platform, which allows for improved verifiability and transparency concerning the sustainability of supply chains in the fashion industry.

- InCirT GmbH, co-founded by WHU alumnus Sebastian Waters (BSc, 2010; MSc, 2012) announced the completion of a successful funding round with the support of High-Tech Gründerfonds. The company provides data converters for telecommunication, satellites, radar systems, and other areas where high performance and energy efficiency are paramount. Waters’s co-founders are Oner Hanay, Erkan Bayram, Mohamed Saeed Elsayed, and Renato Negra.

- WHU graduate Leon Wisskirchen (BSc, 2019) and his co-founding partner Konstantin Häfner were able to raise a six-figure sum for their tech-based start-up Velsa during a pre-seed funding round held as part of Entrepreneur First. With their platform, Velsa offers other start-ups digital and legal consultation that best matches their individual needs.

- LYKON, which offers its customers personalized nutrition, secured €10M in a series A funding round. Maximilian Peter Pahn (BSc, 2014) is the company’s co-founder.

- Februar founders Felix Harms (MSc, 2019) and Marcel Katenhusen succeeded in raising €1.5M in a funding round. This crypto-fintech-focused company will now be able to continue growing their new payment infrastructure for use in Web 3 projects.

- Levity, which offers modular digitalization and automation processes, succeeded in collecting €8.3M in a seed funding round. Gero Keil and Thilo Hüllmann are alumni of WHU, both from the Bachelor’s Class of 2018.

- Wunder Mobility, started by Gunnar Froh (MSc, 2007), received €12M in financial resources during a series B funding round. The company offers comprehensive software and hardware solutions for the “shared mobility” market. Blumberg Capital and KCK were the two chief investors.

- Property Scout, an international platform for real estate transactions, collected US$5M in a series A funding round, which saw participation from Altara Ventures and six other investors. Marco Barth (Doctoral Program, 2006) is one of the company’s co-founders.

- During a series A funding round, venture capitalist group Adjacent and four other investors invested €27.5M in Patronus Group, co-founded by Tim Wagner (BSc, 2021).

November

- Bellway, a start-up co-founded by Max Dresse (BSc), took in US$600,000 in a funding round. The company, which has set up shop in New York, offers a special dietary fiber supplement that promotes healthy digestion and is made from entirely organic psyllium.

- Tim Thabe (Kellogg-WHU EMBA, 2014) and his team of co-founders received €100M from Goldman Sachs through a post-IPO loan for their start-up creditshelf AG. Through their online platform, the company allows small and mid-sized firms flexible financing models that are not tied to a specific bank.

December

-In December, WHU graduate Sherry Fei Jun (MBA, 2022) successfully closed a pre-seed funding round with an undisclosed sum for her company Artificient Mobility Intelligence. The company offers an AI-supported app that, using cameras installed in cars, is able to recognize traffic situations and make driving safer.

- Enpal, a start-up that leases solar panels to domestic households, has arranged loan financing for over €900M. The founders are Jochen Ziervogel (BSc, 2013; MSc, 2015), Mario Kohle (BSc, 2008), and Viktor Wingert (MSc, 2010).

- Thomas Roth (MBA, 2018) was able to successfully conclude a seed funding round for his start-up Inzipio. Inzipio allows for the automatic and virtual planning of surgical procedures.

- Lidrotec collected US$5M in a series A funding round. The company, co-founded by Alexander Igelmann (MSc, 2014) allows for highly precise micro-processing of work material through laser technology.

- Real estate firm McMakler was able to successfully conclude a venture capital round. The start-up was founded by Felix Jahn (Diplom, 2006), Hanno Heintzenberg, and Lukas Pieczonka.

- WHU alumnus and Ostrom co-founder Matthias Martensen (BSc, 2014) was able to collect €9.3M in a series A funding round. The company delivers affordable, clean energy throughout Germany.

- Secjur, which acts as a one-stop data security shop for other companies, secured €5.5M in a seed funding round. The firm was founded by Niklas Hanitsch (PT-MBA, 2019) and Simon Pentzien (MBA, 2017).

- The recently founded HR-tech-focused start-up Selectic informs recruiters on how competent their applicants truly are. The company was founded by WHU students Nicolas Tozzoli (MSc, 2023), Antonio Panta (MSc, 2023), and Marcel Michalik (MSc, 2023). They were able to successfully conclude a seed funding round.

Start-ups Investment Report Q1/2022

Start-ups Investment Report Q2/2022

Start-ups Investment Report Q3/2022