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There are some interesting facts about Cologne that you need to know:

It is the largest city on the Rhine River; the Cologne Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany.

The Cologne startup ecosystem continues to grow and several well-known startups have raised significant funding. ESL, considered to be the largest esports company in the world, received a $30 million investment in 2019. To date, the luxury watch trading startup CHRONEXT has raised over $50 million in funding; while software startup Silexica has raised close to $30 million.

In terms of venture capital in Cologne, there was a substantial investment of $84.1 million (73.8€ million) in 2019.

Another interesting fact is that Cologne has plenty of funding resources to turn your disruptive ideas into a reality. Please take a closer look at the following list of venture capital firms and angel investors in the city.

If you want to prepare for startup funding in Cologne, the Founder Institute is currently enrolling. Apply today to build a startup with Cologne's top entrepreneurs and investors!


Cologne Angel Investors

1. Alexander Eissing

  • Bio: “Serial entrepreneur, angel investor and advisor in media and tech.”
  • Looking for: N/A on website.
  • Sectors: Clean Technology, Consumer Internet, Enterprise Software, Mobile, B2B, Social Media Platforms, E-Commerce, Robotics.
  • Number of investments: 7
  • Investment Range: N/A on website.
  • Notable portfolio companies: CALI EATS, EDITION F, LOCK8, Socius

2. Alexander Marten

  • Bio: “Serial entrepreneur, ecosystem builder & angel in very early rounds for very geeky businesses, German MBA, US JD.”
  • Looking for: N/A on website.
  • Sectors: Clean Technology, Consumer Internet, Enterprise Software, Mobile, Healthcare.
  • Number of investments: 5
  • Investment Range: N/A on website.
  • Notable portfolio companies: Fedger

3. André Burchart

  • Bio: “VP Operations LeanIX , Former Principal Capnamic Ventures.”
  • Looking for: N/A on website.
  • Sectors: Enterprise Software, SaaS, Software, IT Management.
  • Number of investments: 7
  • Investment Range: N/A on website.
  • Notable portfolio companies: Adjust, COBI, Mediakraft, reBuy.de, Simfy, The ADEX, Zeotap

4. Andreas Kwiatkowski

  • Bio: “Founder how.fm. Previously founded Eisenhower & Rheinfabrik (acquired). Worked at Trivago, Simfy, IBM. Love technology, reading & draft beer.”
  • Looking for: N/A on website.
  • Sectors: N/A on website.
  • Number of investments: 2
  • Investment Range: N/A on website.
  • Notable portfolio companies: Fintory, Yard

5. Christoph Wilke

  • Bio: “Founder OYGO.com • Worked at AdLINK Group, Yahoo!, Sevenval, Mediaedge, YOC, ThyssenKrupp Steel, Omnicom • Angel e.g. TVSMILES, re2you, adsquare (ex).”
  • Looking for: N/A on website.
  • Sectors: Mobile Advertising, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Coupons, Local Advertising, Local Coupons, NFC, Internet of Things, Skate Wear.
  • Number of investments: 8
  • Investment Range: N/A on website.
  • Notable portfolio companies: adsquare, madvertise, re2you, TVSMILES

6. Frank Thelen

  • Bio: “A European serial founder & investor. His products have reached 100+ M consumers in 60 countries. Passionate about software architecture & exceptional UX.”
  • Looking for: N/A on website.
  • Sectors: Mobile, Consumer Internet, Enterprise Software, Productivity Software.
  • Number of investments: 7
  • Investment Range: N/A on website.
  • Notable portfolio companies: 42reports, FREE NOW, Hole19, KaufDA, Wunderlist

7. Marc Sieberger

  • Bio: “Entrepreneur and Seed Investor Freigeist. Lilium, 6wunderkinder, mytaxi.net, Hole19.”
  • Looking for: “N/A on website.”
  • Sectors: Consumer Internet, Mobile.
  • Number of investments: 9
  • Investment Range: N/A on website.
  • Notable portfolio companies: 42reports, FREE NOW, Hole19, KaufDA, Lilium, Wunderlist

8. Oliver Thylmann

  • Bio: “Father, Internet Entrepreneur since 1996, 3 Exits, MBA, Developer Whisperer, Geek, First Adopter and Co-Founder of Giant Swarm.”
  • Looking for: Founders with pashion, products build with a real market, something that changes market dynamics. I do prefer things that will become a real company instead of a product.
  • Sectors: Hosting, Docker, PaaS, IaaS, Storage.
  • Number of investments: 51
  • Investment Range: $1K-$250K
  • Notable portfolio companies: Abra, Blockstack, Brilliant, Giant Swarm, Haven, HoneyBook, Kinnek, OneSignal, Opendoor, Postmates, Snyk, Wag!

9. Stefan Klebor

  • Bio: “We invest in and incubate ad-tech, media, telecoms, mobile entertainment and e-learning start-ups and do seed funding between 100 - 500k EUR.”
  • Looking for: N/A on website.
  • Sectors: Digital Media, Digital Marketing, Telecommunications.
  • Number of investments: 5
  • Investment Range: $113K-$564K
  • Notable portfolio companies: HYPERCENTAGE, Oriel, Proxmate, relario

10. Stephan Schubert


11. Thomas Grota

  • Bio: “Former Investment Director at T-Venture , Investor in Flaregames, Gini , enfore, Lookout, Intelligent Apps (mytaxi), 6Wunderkinder.”
  • Looking for: N/A on website.
  • Sectors: Disruptive Models, Telecommunications, Mobile Payments, Mobile Enterprise, Productivity Software, Application Platforms, Mobile, Enterprise Software, Insurtech, Insurance, Fin Tech, Banking, Mobility, SaaS, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Accounting.
  • Number of investments: 16
  • Investment Range:  N/A on website.
  • Notable portfolio companies: enfore, Flaregames, FREE NOW, Gini, KAYAK, Lookout, Wunderlist, ZenMate

12. Tim Schumacher

  • Bio: “Co-Founder and former CEO of Sedo (currently $160 M in Revenue, 350 employees). Company exit at $200 M valuation in 2006. Now building next company..”
  • Looking for: N/A on website.
  • Sectors: Advertising, Search Marketing, Lead Generation, Mobile Advertising, Clean Technology, Consumer Internet, Local Coupons, Deals, Local Services, Local Advertising, Clean Energy, Renewable Energies, Cloud Computing, Web Hosting, PaaS.
  • Number of investments: 27
  • Investment Range: N/A on website.
  • Notable portfolio companies: Aklamio, Apptopia, Ecosia, eyeo, Fitogram, Goodwall, Home HT, IONIQ, Joblift, Pachama, Piwik PRO, Pixsy, Productsup, Sedo, Stagelink

Cologne Venture Capital Firms

1. Avedon Capital Partners

  • Description: "Avedon Capital Partners is an investor passionate about supporting exceptional entrepreneurs and management teams of niche market-leading companies to realise ambitious growth plans in partnership.”
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: Business Services, Consumer & Leisure, Industrial Niches and Software & Technology.
  • Avedon Capital Partners Stage: Growth stage startups.
  • Notable Avedon Capital Partners Portfolio Companies: Altendorf, DELABO Group, GRW, hauck, Kinly, Seebach, SLF Fraureuth, Tesch Inkasso, Waste Vision

2. Capnamic Ventures

  • Description: "We are a leading early stage venture capital firm based in Berlin and Cologne. Our goal is to be the first institutional investor, trusted partner and companion of top entrepreneurs. We support our portfolio companies with our company-building backgrounds and our network of corporate investors. We invest in markets and industries characterized by high growth and technological innovation; we believe that disruption is driven by digital transformation.”
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: B2B, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Transformation.
  • Capnamic Ventures Stage: Seed stage to Series B.
  • Notable Capnamic Ventures Portfolio Companies: Adjust, CHRONEXT, ClickandBuy, Contilla, DocMorris, Embold, FASTBOOKING, Mediakraft, MindManager, Solegro, The ADEX, ZooRoyal

3. Coparion


4. Curious Capital

  • Description: "Curious Capital is the corporate venture subsidiary of Heinen-Verlag, and was established in 2017. Heinen-Verlag, founded in 1946, is a Cologne-based publishing house with activities and history in regional print media. Curious Capital is looking for seed and early stage investments in business models, products and/or markets, which anyhow fit to activities of a modern media company..”
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: All tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • Curious Capital Stage: Seed and early-stage startups.
  • Notable Curious Capital Portfolio Companies: Block Builders, Flits, Joblift, Tegus Medical, vAudience

5. DvH Ventures


6. Freigeist Capital

  • Description: "Within the next 10 years, our world will change radically. New technologies like AI, Robotics, 5G and Quantum-Computing are moving from research labs into our everyday lives. This is our biggest opportunity to improve quality and sustainability of life. We need to embrace new technology to shape our future. Startups are a key driver for innovation and progress. In our 20 years of founding and supporting startups, we have been through the highest highs and lowest lows. Building a company is an insanely tough challenge. But we can think of no better way to spend your professional life. As a founder you need capital to build your company. But, even more important, you need an experienced, straightforward and fair investor-team you can rely on, when things don’t go according to plan.”
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: Deep Tech, Digital Society, Energy, Environment & Natural Resources, Manufacturing, Mobility & Transportation and Space.
  • Freigeist Capital Stage: Seed and pre-Series A startups.
  • Notable Freigeist Capital Portfolio Companies: air up, FREE NOW, Hardt, Hole19, KaufDA, Kraftblock, Lilium, Neufund, Pitch, Smartlane, Wunderlist, xentral, YFood

7. HTGF

  • Description: "HTGF is THE seed investor for innovative technologies and business models. We are successful in supporting the best founders whose ideas can revolutionize entire industries and improve people’s lives. From the foundation of a start-up to its exit.”
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: Chemistry, Digital Business Models, Industrial Technology and Life Sciences.
  • HTGF Stage: Early stage startups.
  • Notable HTGF Portfolio Companies: BOX ID, cloudplan, GME, IPlytics, kiutra, NEONGA, Pidoco, Resourcify, Taxdoo, tracekey, VMRay

8. InsurTech


9. Media Ventures

  • Description: "Media Ventures GmbH is a private venture capital company headquartered in Cologne, Germany. In our search for teams and ideas, we provide help at all stages, from start-up to growth, all the way until a company reaches maturity. We concentrate on Europe, with an emphasis on Germany, and have a broad market focus that is not industry-dependent. The package of services we offer is unique.”
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: All tech or tech-enabled businesses.
  • Media Ventures Stage: All stages.
  • Notable Media Ventures Portfolio Companies: Audiotool, Bisnode, dailyme TV, DiaMonTech, dimensional, E2Ma, Exactag, Make.TV, Merkando, Spotted, Yasni 

10. Statkraft Ventures


11. STS Ventures


12. Venista Ventures

  • Description: "Venista Ventures exclusively invests in Pre-Seed and Seed stage, aiming to be the rst institutional investor. We invest in ambitious founders with visionary ideas facing the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
  • Sectors / Markets of Focus: e-Commerce & Marketplaces, e-Sports & Gaming and Mobility.
  • Venista Ventures Stage: Pre-seed and seed stage startups.
  • Notable Venista Ventures Portfolio Companies: datapine, Familo, GTX Messaging, Motainment, Spyke Media, Startupbootcamp, TAB

Are you looking to build a great startup in Cologne?

The Founder Institute is the world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator. In the program, early-stage entrepreneurs and teams build their business alongside a critical support network of local startup experts that share equity in their success, and through a structured and challenging business-building process that has helped alumni raise over $950M. 

Leaders of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more. 

Learn more about the Founder Institute at FI.co, join a free startup event in Cologne, or apply to build a startup today.

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