Earlybird floats three portfolio companies

The German early-stage venture capital firm has listed three portfolio firms on the stock exchange over a two-week period.

Hamburg, Munich and California-based Earlybird Venture Capital has listed portfolio companies Interhyp and Tipp24 on the Frankfurt stock exchange and Esmertec in Zurich.

German online mortgage broker Interhyp was first to be quoted on the Frankfurt stock exchange on September 29, with Zurich-based software firm Esmertec listing on the Zurich stock exchange the same day. Tipp24, a Hamburg-based provider of government-licensed gaming products, entered the Frankfurt stock exchange on October 12.

Only two companies from German venture portfolios went public during the three years prior to 2005, compared with eight successful listings this year, according to Earlybird. 

Earlybird invested €4.1 million in Interhyp in September 1999, followed by a second financing round of €2.8 million in July 2000, alongside new investor 3i. The firm sold 33 percent of its holding into the IPO, which was oversubscribed by 30x. Earlybird has a 15 percent interest in Interhyp following the flotation, and managing partner Dr. Christian Nagel remains as chairman of the supervisory board.

Esmertec attracted $8.7 million through three financing rounds led by Earlybird since September 2001. Earlybird holds a 15 percent stake in the firm following its IPO.

Tipp24 received €3.7 million in early-stage financing from Earlybird in September 1999, followed by a second round of €4.2 million led by Earlybird in September 2000. Following its 15x oversubscribed flotation, Earlybird holds a 20 percent stake after selling around 45 percent of its holding in the IPO.

Earlybird is confident it can repeat these successes over the next few years. “Within the next 12 to 24 months more companies, like Wilex and Amaxa (biotechnology), Zonare and Hemoteg (medical technology) and UPEK (biometric systems), should achieve significant advances in scale and maturity, enabling them to make substantial contributions to the performance of our funds,” said Roland Manger, managing partner of Earlybird.

He added: “This lays the foundation for a new fund generation. In particular, institutional investors from abroad can see the opportunities for entering the German venture capital market.”