Germany’s HitFox enters FinTech industry by launching its own incubator
Anyone familiar with the German high-tech scene knows the names Rocket Internet and HitFox. These two incu-celerators exemplify a particular German model of starting companies: a mother company that both launches and accelerates other companies.
Now HitFox has announced its latest venture: Finleap, a kind of incubator, or company builder, as HitFox calls it, that will start four to six FinTech companies a year, each receiving between €500,000 to €5 million seed investment.
The mother fox
HitFox, which started out as a games distributor when it was founded in 2011, has since moved into adtech and big data for mobile advertising. It has both accelerated existing companies in these fields and incubated its own. Its portfolio companies include ad2games, appiris, AppLift, datamonk, PubNative as well as others in stealth mode. The holding company has seen very rapid growth, announcing a $20.6. million profit for 2013 after being founded in 2011. In the past 3 years HitFox opened offices on three continents for 8 companies with 300 employees overall.
Fintech is short for financial technology and describes companies that use technology to make financial systems more efficient. This covers everything from crowdfunding to payments to credit scoring to credit card security.
HitFox will analyze the market and its experts will devise new products, solutions and business models. To that end, it is hiring 150 new employees. One of its first startups is Savedo, focusing on providing an online-platform for attractive European fixed-term deposit investments for German savers.
The new venture will be headed by founders Jan Beckers and Dr. Hanno Fichtner.
Jochen Siegert who helped build PayPal in Europe is also on board.
The Wall Street Journal recently described the German startup culture as “companies that are less focused on product innovation, and instead hone their execution.“
It describes HitFox’s business model as follows: “If you are a games maker you want players; if you are a player you want new games. HitFox creates companies that match the two, by identifying gaps in the market where a business opportunity exists and either finding a company that is already in the space, or creating a new company to exploit it, staffing it with high potential outsiders and from within its own staff.“