The STIHL Group is participating in the High-Tech Gründerfonds (Startup Fund), which is the largest seed fund for financing young technology companies in Germany. "By investing in the High-Tech Gründerfonds we want to support the development of innovative companies and further expand our activities in the area of research and development", explained STIHL Executive Board Member, Finance and Controlling, Karl Angler. "The broad investment horizon of the High-Tech Gründerfonds and the possibility of cooperating with startups have prompted us to invest in the fund. Furthermore, we are gaining an overview of developments and trends in the startup scene."
Digitalization at STIHL is driving force for additional customer benefits
Innovations in the areas of digitalization, connected products, battery technology and robotics are becoming increasingly significant for STIHL as a means of enhancing customer benefits. For example, STIHL is already participating in the ACTIVATR program of Pioniergeist, a Stuttgart company. It brings together experienced startup founders and the highly innovative staff of established companies in order to develop new business models, products and services. Moreover, at the beginning of this year STIHL acquired a stake in GreenIQ, an Israeli startup which specializes in the development, sale and distribution of networked products for garden applications, such as irrigation and lighting. One of the aims is to develop a STIHL Smart Garden Hub.
High-Tech Gründerfonds is broadly based
At the ‘Family Day' in Bonn on 31 May, the names of the new investors who subscribed to the High-Tech Gründerfonds III in the first closing were announced. The new fund starts in the 3rd quarter of 2017 with target capital of €300 million. The High-Tech Gründerfonds is Germany's most active early-stage investor. With its own capital of around €875 million in three funds and some €1.4 billion capital to date from external private and industrial investors, young innovative technology startups are financed and actively supported in implementing their business ideas. The fund covers a broad range of sectors – from robotics and ‘Internet of Things' to energy subjects, from medtech to biotech, from chemistry to software and eCommerce platforms. Investors in the public-private partnership are the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the KfW Bank Group and reputable commercial enterprises – including STIHL.