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FRAMEN in the new APX office. Photo by Dominik Tryba.

Of our first exit: The importance of networks and timing

Maja
Maja
Dec 16, 2020 · 4 min read

APX invested in FRAMEN roughly 12 months ago. And we did so for many reasons.

FRAMEN’s platform and technology disrupts the Digital-out-of-Home market by offering advertisers a new channel for Addressable Context Advertising and in-house digital screen providers a completely new revenue stream. Or in fewer buzzwords: Hotels, co-working spaces, Restaurants, Bars, Supermarkets, Pharmacies, Stores, or any other public physical space can monetize their screens by showing 3rd party content and ads on them.

Just imagine — Uber advertising in a bar (Don’t drink and drive!), Pipedrive at a co-working space (How to sell more than the BizDev guy/girl next to you!), McDonald’s at a club (Hungry yet?) or simply in times of COVID — cities informing their elderly and less digital citizens about lock-down rules, news or warnings at the local supermarket and pharmacy (Wear your masks!).

Our decision to invest in FRAMEN was mainly-driven because of the extremely smart, motivated, and execution-driven founder team. On top of that, their approach disrupts an old and capital intensive market. As opposed to the incumbents in the Digital-out-of-Home Space, FRAMEN’s approach is scalable as it does not require the acquisition of ONE single screen. In short: Investing in FRAMEN was a no-brainer.

The right buyer, for the right company at the right time

In November 2019 we helped FRAMEN get the opportunity to join us on the TechCon of Axel Springer. On the stage with our Managing Director Jörg Rheinboldt, co-founder and CEO of FRAMEN, Dimitri Gärtner got the chance to pitch the company in front of the CEO of Axel Springer. This triggered a direct approach from Thomas Bergemann, Head of Advertising at Axel Springer, and together they started talking ideas for tech development and business collaboration. In the summer of 2020, we connected FRAMEN with Media Impact, the marketing company of Axel Springer SE, as we saw an even bigger potential here.

A key part of what we do at APX is connecting our portfolio startups with the right mentors, experts, investors, customers, and partners from our network — at the right time. Little did we know that giving FRAMEN a stage in November 2019 and the right lead this summer would result in our first exit only six months later.

Today, Axel Springer has officially announced its acquisition of the majority stake in FRAMEN. The acquisition opens up completely new opportunities for Axel Springer. FRAMEN’s solution completes their portfolio, enabling them to offer customers holistic, 360-degree marketing of their campaigns in print, digital and DOOH. There are also plans to use FRAMEN’s technological platform to broadcast advertising videos and content from Axel Springer’s media brands, such as the Bundesliga highlights from the acquired DOOH rights package and even further.

FRAMEN will use the momentum to expand their services for screen providers and advertisers, and with Axel Springer entering their news and campaign marketing, they will offer advertisers a contextually tailored channel for their communication and enable further revenues for screen providers.

This exit for APX came fast — faster than expected. Like with all investments, for a great exit, it comes down to three things: The right company, the right buyer at the right time. Resulting in a win-win-win.

Never change the “family recipe”

This tailored and hands-on approach to adding value is deeply rooted in APX’s DNA. We continuously ask ourselves: Which contacts, which partners do the founders need at which point in time? Who can help them get ahead? Which established company can help them take the next big step? The answer to these questions is always different. For FRAMEN, it is Axel Springer. For the founders of Dogo and Sharpist, our joint growth program with Facebook came in handy. We put Fabrikatör, a SaaS solution for D2C brands, in touch with our partner Kitchentown and found the exact right advisor from the Hedge Fund industry for our portfolio startup Datacy. GetHenry set up a fleet of e-scooters at Porsche’s Campus in Zuffenhausen, and Betafashion and Qualifyze found exactly the right seed-investor through our investor network.

These are just a few examples of many ways we leverage our networks. FRAMEN might be our first, but you can be sure that we’ll do everything to make sure it’s not our last successful exit. More than 60 start-ups are currently part of our portfolio — and our family is growing almost every day. Do you want to be part of it? Then please get on board.

Our journey has just begun.

APX Voices

Early-stage investor. Long-term partner. Start your journey on APX.vc.

Maja

Written by

Maja

Early stage venture investor with @joinapx — supporting excellent entrepreneurs realising their utmost potential — Connecting founders with the right investors

APX Voices

APX is Europe’s leading very-early-stage VC. Based in Berlin and backed by Axel Springer and Porsche, we support and partner with the most ambitious founding teams from Europe and beyond — often as their first investor. Find out more on APX.vc.

Maja

Written by

Maja

Early stage venture investor with @joinapx — supporting excellent entrepreneurs realising their utmost potential — Connecting founders with the right investors

APX Voices

APX is Europe’s leading very-early-stage VC. Based in Berlin and backed by Axel Springer and Porsche, we support and partner with the most ambitious founding teams from Europe and beyond — often as their first investor. Find out more on APX.vc.

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