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WHU Start-Ups Raise over US$800M in Venture Capital in 2022

New research from Professor Dries Faems shines a light on the venture-related activities tied to the WHU

Over the course of 2022, German companies (co-)founded by students and alumni of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management collectively raised a staggering US$846M in venture capital funds. Those funds account for 8% of all venture capital funds raised in Germany and reflect 5% of all German-based venture transactions. This is the result of a new analysis conducted by Professor Dries Faems, Chairholder for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technological Transformation at WHU.

Using information provided by Crunchbase, a business-oriented data aggregator based in San Francisco, the analysis considers equity-based transactions linked to German companies for the whole of the year. This exclusively comprises pre-seed, seed, and venture series funding rounds. Of the 980 total transactions identified, 648 disclosed the exact amounts raised, and 19 of those exceeded a value of US$100M. Logistics firm Forto, co-founded by WHU alumnus Ferry Heilemann, was one of these companies, raising US$250M in a series D funding round. When looking at the dollar amount per state, the analysis shows that Berlin is, by far, the largest German hub of start-up activity and that “WHU companies” are strongly represented there, accounting for 9% of all venture transactions made and 14% of all venture funding. The results of this analysis come on the heels of news that WHU had bested its own record for the number of funding rounds successfully completed and amount of funds raised within one calendar year, further evincing the robustness of both its Entrepreneurship Center, under the direction of Maximilian Eckel, Professor Dries Faems, and Professor Christoph Hienerth, and the ecosystem it supports.

With a strong focus on entrepreneurship, WHU continually places high in the world’s most salient rankings relevant to business administration, the founding of start-ups, and research—on a German, European, and international level. The Financial Times lists the school #1 for entrepreneurship teaching in Germany in its most recent MBA ranking, and the 2022 edition of the DACH Unicorn Roadmap, published by venture capital firm Antler, confirms that WHU produces, by a wide margin, the highest number of unicorn founders proportional to the size of its student body in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland).

The WHU Entrepreneurship Center is on a mission to educate the WHU community through committed, purposeful, ethical, and sustainable entrepreneurship. It offers a wide range of academic and practical activities, including courses, workshops, trainings, and programs that coordinate and expand upon WHU’s rich entrepreneurial assets.

Professor Faems’s full analysis of the venture capital ecosystem in Germany can be explored here.

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