The Top 50 Venture Builders in Europe 2021

From Germany, to Spain and the UK, here are the top 50 venture builders in Europe in 2021.
The Top 50 Venture Builders in Europe 2021


What’s Venture Building? And why is it different from Accelerators, Incubators, etc.?

Europe’s rising startup ecosystem is becoming more diverse every year. Accelerators, Incubators, Angels, Venture Capital firms, Crowdfunding… And Venture Builders, also known as Venture Studios.

If you feel confused about all these terms, which is very normal, let’s clear things up right now. What is what?

  • Accelerator: “Let’s take this existing startup, accept it into our program and give them the tools to grow”.
  • Incubator: “Let’s brainstorm about these topics that are of our interest and hopefully invest in some of the ideas that come out of this.”
  • Venture capital:  “Hm… This startup looks promising, we think they can grow 10x in two years. Let’s put some money in, make sure it’s been used well (board meetings) and exit in some years.”
  • Venture builder/studio: “We have an idea and the tools to develop it. Let’s now recruit some people and put our hands to work on this, let’s be the co-founders of this.”

So you could say that Venture Builders are the most hands on in their investments of all these entities. Because they are present from the very first ideation step until exit. But it’s not just about time, it is also about power. Venture Builders are the ones that have the most decision power on their investments because they act as co-founders. 


The Research

We couldn’t help but notice that, as of today, there is no ranking of Venture Builders in Europe. That’s one of the reasons why we decided to draft one, in hope of helping people understand how they compare. In light of that, if you feel like you are missing, please drop us a line at hello@cledara.com.

Even though there is no European ranking, we took some inspiration from ElReferente, Silicon canals and Nestim, which all had some interesting data on national levels.

Top Venture Builders in Germany


Rocket Internet

Rocket Internet is the most well-known venture builder in Europe, without a doubt. They invest in startups with proven business models and hold more than 200 investments. They have 42,000 employees and some of their current ventures include Payflow (payroll on demand), Bluenest (real estate agency) or Global Savings Group (commerce content platform).

Founders: Alexander Samwer, Marc Samwer, Oliver Samwer

Location: Berlin, Germany

FinLeap

FinLeap is a top-notch corporate venture builder focused on finance. They have founded 18 companies. They have co-founded Solaris Banks (digital banking platform), Connect (open banking) and Element (insurtech) among others. 

Founders: Ramin Niroumand, owned by IONIQ Group

Location: Berlin, Germany, San Francisco, USA

Next Big Thing

Next Big Thing AG is a company builder focused on IoT and Blockchain. They are also an operational VC, incubator, and accelerator. NBT provides mentorship and seed funding. Startups include Assistr (healthcare), Weeve (blockchain technology), and METR (proptech).

Founders: Harald Zapp, Michael Bommer, and Maik Käbisch

Location: Berlin, Germany

Team Europe

Team Europe has created and operated multiple E-commerce startups, it's main focus. Among its projects are Spreadshirt (customized T-Shirts) and Brands4Friends (woman fashion). 

Founder: Lukasz Gadowski

Location: Berlin, Germany

Etventure

etventure builds startups (POSpulse, mobilejob) and digital units for corporates (Klöckner & Co SE, SMS group). Life Sciences, Health & Chemicals, Automotive, Transportation & Industrial Products, Consumer Product, Retail & TMT, Financial Services Organisations, Real Estate and Construction & Energy are their areas of expertise.

Founders: Dr. Christian Lüdtke, Philipp Depiereux, Philipp Herrmann, owned by EY since 2017.

Location: Berlin, Germany

FoundersLane

FoundersLane is a corporate venture builder specialised in climate and health. Founded in 2016, FoundersLane draws on more than 100 founders, experts and entrepreneurs with great expertise in the fields of medicine, health, climate, disruptive technologies such as IoT connectivity, AI, and machine learning. Clients includes corporations and 30 Forbes listed companies, such as Trumpf, Vattenfall, Henkel and Baloise.

Founders: Felix Staeritz, Andreas von Oettingen, and Michael Stephanblome

Location: Berlin, Germany. Active in Europe, MENA and Asia.

Finparx

Driven by financial intelligence, Finparx builds ventures to improve daily life, global trade, social communities and banking experience. Two of their ventures had noteable exits: Payolution (sold to Paysafe) and PAY.ON (sold to ACI).

Founder: Nikolaus von Taysen

Location: Munich, Germany

Heartbeat labs

Heartbeat labs co-founds digital health companies with user-centric solutions to improve patient care. They provide 360° support in all necessary areas: tech, product, medical knowledge, regulatory advice, business intelligence, marketing, finance, communications, and recruiting. They also have a VC branch. They built companies like FernArtz (telemedicine) or Sinbionik (biotech)

Founders: Stephanie Kaiser, owned by IONIQ group

Location: Berlin, Germany

Lemonblood

Lemonblood builds startups acrossstartups models across all the industries. They support and invest in startups offering them a wide range of services such as strategy, marketing and product.

Founder: Antonio A. Gatti Balsarri

Location: Berlin, Germany

Wattx

WATTx creates deep tech products and companies that solve industrial problems, with a user-centric approach. Their portfolio includes Statice (a data anonymisation tool), Hasty (a next gen image annotation tool), and deevio (that automates visual inspection in factories using machine learning).

Managing Directors: Martin Mittermeier, Julius Patzelt, and Marius Pfuhl

Location: Berlin, Germany

Bridgemaker

Bridgemaker develops and executes B2B tech ideas. They have developed VAI (service for digital on-demand purchase financing) for Berliner Volksbank and Goodnity (data-driven HR solution) for Workspex.

Founder: Henrike Luszick

Location: Berlin, Germany

Innovation Punks

Innovation Punks founded in 2013 builds digital ventures along with other digitalization services. The company has founded Riddle (content creation and business intelligence tool), HAMSTERD (assistance in car leasing) and VIBE (mobile social network).

Founder: Marco Höglinger

Location: Munich, German

Found Fair

Foundfair is a German company builder active in Fintech, Mobility, Marketplaces, Adtech and Medtech.

Founders: Burckhardt Bonello

Location: Berlin, Germany

Venture Stars

Venture Stars is a Company Builder for Internet startups. Some of their exits include Miflora (flower delivery), Vaola (sports marketplace) and Justbool (last minute premium hotel booking)

Founder: Stefan Pfannmoeller

Location: Munich, Germany

Pacemakers

With a holistic approach to business building, Pacemakers guides +80 individual projects  from ideation to growth stages. Coca-Cola and Henkel are some of their partners.

Founders: Peter Henssen, Robin Rohrmann, Julius Hansen

Location: Berlin, Germany

Hanse Ventures

Hanse Ventures is a company builder founded by a team of experienced entrepreneurs and executives with expertise in the internet sector. They provide seed financing, expert knowledge in fields such as product, online marketing, business intelligence, PR, HR and service centre, as well as office space.

Founder: Jochen Maab

Location: Hamburg, Germany

Mantro

Mantro is a high tech company builder. They are founders of absence.io (HR tool), oilfox.io (smart fuel oil system) and Werkerapp (construction app).

Founders: Benjamin Schüdzig, Manfred Tropper and Markus Ortmann.

Location: Munich, Germany


Top Venture Builders in the UK


Entrepreneur First

Over the last six years, EF has built more seed-funded startups from scratch thanscratch than way than anyone else. They have different programs for their startups, regarding their starting point. Here is a link to their +100 investments, which include challenger credit bureau Credit Kudos and KYC platform Passfort.

Founders: Alice Bentinck, Matt Clifford

Location: London, Singapore, Bangalore, Berlin, Paris, Toronto

RainMaking

Rainmaking is an international startup builder with a focus on Fintech, Insurtech, Smart Cities, Transport & Logistics, Digital Tech and SportsTech. They run a portfolio of 10 companies with a total of 100 team members in its offices worldwide. They also have an accelerator program.

Founders: Carsten Kølbek

Location: London, New York, Copenhagen, Singapore, Dubai, Osaka, Cairo, Kaohsiung, Mexico City, Taipei

Founder’s Factory

Founders Factory is both an accelerator program and a venture studio started by the founder of Lastminute.com. The studio focuses on Media, Beauty, Retail, AI & Big Data, Home & Hygiene and Travel. Here is a link to their vast portfolio.

Founders: Brent Hoberman, George Northcott, Henry Lane Fox, Jim Meyerle

Location: London, UK

Blenheim Chalcot

Blenheim Chalcot has built over 40 businesses in IT services and outsourcing, financial services, education, travel, software, sport and media. Today, their companies have sales of over £350m and employ in excess of 3000 people. Link to their portfolio - big winners include Clearscore, Liberis, Modulr and SalaryFinance.

Founders: Charles Mindenhall, Manoj Badale

Location: London, UK 

Innovify

InnoHub co-founds, invents and scales startups in the LATAM region. They have customers like BBC, The British Council or Startupbootcamp.

Founders: Maulik Sailor, Prakash Pilley, Ruchit Jani, Vikas Agarwal, Yoann Turpin

Location: London, UK

Codegent

Codegent is a digital product and startup studio. They are in the mobile app business and their products have been downloaded over 20M times. Their portfolio includes Twilert, a Twitter monitoring tool, Screencloud, a digital signage platform Tepilo.com, a real estate platform. They specialise in SaaS.

Founders: David Hart, Luke Hubbard, Mark McDermott

Location: London, UK

Activate

Activate is a London-based startup studio. They have partnerships with AWS and Hubspot and provide ideation, product design, go-to-market and growth support.

Founders: Greg Rice

Location: London


Top Venture Builders in The Netherlands

Peakfijn

Peakfijn designs and builds digital products. They dominate the phases of design (interaction, UX / UI and visual), construction (web and mobile) and maintenance.

Their investments: Oaky (a hyper-personalised upsell engine for hotels that raised a $10m Series A in 2020), Split-A-Gift (charity fundraiser), Sprynter (shipping from your front door), Shleep (sleeping coach) and Yeller (taxi sharing). 

Founders: Wouter Wisselink, Willem Guensberg

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Main Ingredient

Based out of Amsterdam, this startup studio validates ideas in 12 weeks and co-founds ventures from scratch, providing business development, experienced teams, usable products and an efficient workflow. They have a strong background in design, development, strategy and investing and the companies they've helped build include Returnista (helping ecommerce businesses optimise returns), Ligo (company formation and legal services) and Tikkie (bill splitting).

Founders: Paul Reijnierse

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Builders

Builders is a Rotterdam-based startup studio designed to build and grow technology companies from scratch, by bringing together bold ideas, exceptional co-founders, operational support, and investment capital. Their ventures include Influentials (influencer marketing software), IPS (managed cloud platform) and Obeyo (living-as-a-service),

Founders: Michael van Lier

Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Nescio

Nescio is a startup studio based in Amsterdam. Their startups range from Smart.pr (PR software), Journa (journalist portfolios) and Nouncy (social media marketing).

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Holland Startup

Holland Startup's team has over 50 years of experience in building companies from scratch. They provide funding on day one and guide you through the process. Currently they have 8 portfolio companies (Bittiq, Neurolytics, TheDiscov, ChainSlayer, NearOnes, Bynd.ai, Viqal and Wellabee, and 10 Entrepreneurs in Residence that are investigating problems.

Founders: Robbert Jan Hanse

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands.

Bundl

Bundl has built 25+ ventures with its 4-week concept validation methodology. They now host 35 entrepreneurs in house and are specialised in a number of fields. Their portfolio includes ThePark (VR entertainment), Didid (banking) or Safespot (cybersecurity for consumers)

Founders: Thomas Van Halewyck

Location: Antwerp (Belgium), Amstedarm (Netherlands)

Top Venture Builders in Spain


Antai

Antai creates startups and guides them in business development, business intelligence, financial, legal and recruiting. They are now more than 300 employees and specialise in Ecommerce, On-demand apps, Digital Native Companies, Vertical Brands, Marketplaces and SaaS. They co-built Wallapop (second-hand marketplace) and Glovo (urban delivery) among others.

Founders: Gerard Olivé, Miguel Vicente

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Mutter Ventures

Mutter Ventures identifies innovative opportunities and develop them into market-leading businesses. They do that with their own ideas and resources and are specialised in FinTech, Software & IOT and the Consumer sector. Their portfolio includes companies like Advancing, Groenlandia Tech, Cobramus, Fiara, Menai and Byepack

Founder: Christian Rodríguez, Alfonso Le Monnier and Carlos Galí among others.

Locations: Barcelona and Madrid, Spain

Byld

Byld was the first Spanish corporate venture builder. They are an evolution from Sonar Ventures, the first Spanish venture builder. They built projects with Vodafone and Carrefour among others.

Founders: Adrián Heredia

Location: Madrid, Spain

Sonar Ventures

Sonar Ventures wais the first company builder in Spain. Their ventures include Lyra (online marketing), Foodinthebox (cooking recipes marketplace) or Wish (travel with local tips), Yump (health and wellbeing) and TheElement (job offers).

Founders: Alvaro Cuesta, Lucas Cervera

Location: Madrid, Spain

Nuclio

Nuclio is a venture builder that creates startups with business models validated in other markets. They attract talent on their "Nuclio Weekends" two times a year. They have co-created Housfy (real estate marketplace), Typs (payroll on-demand) and Eelp! (property management), Verone (luxury jewelry on subscription) among others

Founders: Carlos Blanco, Alex Díaz, María Hidalgo, Marc Torres.

Location: Barcelona, Spain 

Igeneris

Igeneris is a corporate venture builder and a innovation consulting firm. They validate business models with top-tier Spanish brands like Santander, Mahou San Miguel and Idilia Foods. Some of their work include Emov (urban mobility), Homepaq (messaging) and Taiti (sustainable water bottles).

Founders: José López García de Leániz

Location: Madrid, Spain

Top Venture Builders in the Rest of Europe

Founders.as

Founders is a Danish startup studio that does both B2B and B2C. Their investment is quite varied. It goes from a banking app for freelancers (Kontist) to a neck pain reducer (Reacher) or an email client platform (Tempo) among others.

Founders: Stefano Zorzi, Joshua Karjala-Svendsen, Peter Heering, Sebastian Stockmarr, Simon Sylvest and, Stefano Zorzi, Ulrik Trolle

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Team8

Team8 is an Israeli cybersecurity think tank and venture creation foundry. They focus on cybertech, AI, and FinTech. Their 12 companies are listed here.

Founders: Israel Grimberg, Liran Grinberg, Nadav Zafrir, Ronni Zehavi

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Stryber

Stryber is a corporate venture builder with more than 100 employees. They specialise in fields like PropTech, FinTech, FoodTech and Marketplaces. Some of their portfolio includes Zenmieter (property management for landlords), LaraPay (digital payroll) Snäx (smart fridge) or Lexilia (legal marketplace).

Founders: Jan Sedlacek, Alex Mahr

Location: Zurich, Munich, Kiev, London

0smosis

0smosis is a European venture studio focused on Fintech, although they are present in Singapore too (APAC). They have both startup and corporate ventures. Some of their ventures include Opei (lending app), Helder (mortgages), Buildeye (construction projects for consumers) and Hedgedog (crypto). 

Founders: Geert Van Kerckhoven, Len Adriaenssens, Jori Clijmans

Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Norselab

Norselab is a startup studio situated in Oslo, built on and around the mobile and web development agency Norse Digital. They specialise in SaaS businesses and have co-created companies like Nofence (digital fences for livestock ), Ivaldi (3D printing) or Qlearsite (HR).

Founders: Christian Lundvang, Yngve Tvedt

Location: Oslo (Norway), Washington (USA), Lausanne (Switzerland), Odessa (Ukraine)

TechnoFounders

Technofounders' startup studio -they also have an accelerator- is focused on applying French laboratories high tech to business. Their portfolio includes ventures like Cerbair (anti-drone fight), Spinofrin (improved cosmetics) or Neofarm (micro-farms)

Founders: Paris, France

Location: Pierre Le Blainvaux, Olivier Le Blainvaux, Yves matton.

App’n’roll

App'n'roll is a venture studio specialised in product design, web & mobile development. They have created companies like Voom (shared urban mobility) or Toucan Wallet (FinTech).

Founders: Lukasz Anwajler

Location: Warsaw, Poland

Daat Ventures

Daat Ventures is the first official Venture Studio in Poland. They build, co-create, incubate and invest in innovative global startups. They built Opervolt (energy system for buildings) and AIDC (smart parking system).

Founders: BJ Gawron

Location: Warsaw, Poland

Eyedea

Eyedea is a venture builder and product house born in 2016. They have built over 30 products, and have created companies like Shoppit (click&collect) and Twentyfirst (business process automation)

Founder: Maciej Kucharz

Location: Białystok, Poland

ICEO

ICEO is a venture builder specialised in product development and solutions based on Blockchain, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. They have worked in the FinTech, LegalTech, SmartCity, MedTech, MarTech and SportTech industries and have created companies like BitPay (crypto exchange) and MediHouse (telemedicine).

Founder: Wojciech Sroka

Location: Krakow, Poland

Wide Ventures

Wide Ventures is a startup studio with offices in Zurich and Lisbon. Their portfolio includes companies like Brixel (Real Estate) or Kitaclub (book finder for parents).

Founders: Martin Angehrn, Michael Wiedemann

Location: Zurich (Switzerland), Lisbon (Portugal)

Build Up Labs

Build Up Labs is a startup studio that guides from ideation onwards. They are experts on business models, UX, growth hacking and social media management. They’ve had two exits: Are We There Yet (online countdown timers) and NVY.life (content ecosystem for women)

Founders: Rui Gouveia

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Mamazen

active since 2017, Mamazen helps startups identify a measurable market, validate it, develop an MVP, and select the best entrepreneurs and processes along the way. Mamazen specializes in SaaS, including startups like Homstate (Real-Estate advisory), Morsy (B2B dark kitchen), or Orangogo (customer acquisition and management for Sports Clubs) in their portfolio.

Founders: Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi and Alessandro Mina

Location: Turin, Italy

Drukka

Drukka co-creates startups and guides them through the process. They help in marketing, web and product development, GDPR and graphic design. So far, they invested in 32 initiatives.

Founders: Andras Pollak

Location: Budapest (Hungary), Hallandale (US)


If your are in venture building…

If you are in venture building and reading this, feel free to drop us a line if you miss anybody, or even if you want your company to be in the ranking.


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This post was inspired by questions provided by people like you. We love receiving new and interesting questions that help us think about data in new ways. If you found this post interesting, you might like to learn which are the most successful Fintech Business Angels in Europe and the most prominent Fintech VCs, take a look at our blog posts!


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