Startup Showcase: Axel Springer Digital Ventures – Investment in Europe and the US

Axel Springer Digital Ventures is a corporate venture capital arm of Axel Springer, a leading European media company with a long history of publishing newspapers and magazines. The digital ventures arm is focused on investing in early-stage companies in Europe and the US, with a particular interest in classified ad models/marketplaces, marketing models, and digital publishing.

Investment Strategy

Axel Springer Digital Ventures has a unique approach to investing. Drawing on the resources and network of the parent company, it invests in companies that are complementary or disruptive to Axel Springer’s business. The aim is to be a value-add partner, providing both financial and non-financial support to the portfolio companies.

The investment team has a hands-on approach, working closely with the entrepreneurs and providing guidance on strategy, product development, marketing, and scaling. They offer access to the vast network of Axel Springer’s media brands, including Business Insider, eMarketer, and Upday, which can help the portfolio companies grow and reach new audiences.

Portfolio Companies

Axel Springer Digital Ventures has invested in a range of companies across Europe and the US. One of its most successful investments is in the Berlin-based real estate classifieds platform, Immowelt. The company was acquired by Axel Springer in 2015 for €135m, demonstrating the potential for collaboration between the investment arm and the parent company.

Other notable investments include Jobspotting, a job search platform that uses machine learning to match job seekers with relevant opportunities; Ozy Media, a US-based media company that produces original content across multiple platforms; and Zumper, a US-based online apartment rental marketplace.

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The portfolio companies are selected based on their potential to disrupt the market, create new business models, and provide value to Axel Springer’s existing media brands. The investment team is always looking for new opportunities and is open to hearing from entrepreneurs who are working on innovative solutions in the target sectors.


Axel Springer Digital Ventures is a unique investment arm that offers more than just funding. With the support of the parent company, the team is able to provide portfolio companies with access to a vast network of media brands, expertise in strategy and marketing, and guidance on product development and scaling. The investment arm has a successful track record of investing in early-stage companies in Europe and the US, and is always looking for new opportunities to support innovative entrepreneurs.




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