The Balderton Partnership conduct their Monday Partner Meeting in Berlin, and take a boat trip

JUL 10, 2018

At Balderton, we have long been strong believers in the potential of Berlin’s young companies.

In early July, the Balderton investment team flew into Tegel Aiport and opened up our normally closed Partner meeting to the Berlin ecosystem. We want to say thank you to the city for having us, and a special thank you to our portfolio for all their help. Our Berlin portfolio is very special. It’s small but high quality, and certainly punches above its weight. 

Balderton made its first investment in Berlin in Wooga in November 2009. We are still very active board members and are very proud to be part of the Wooga story. Since then we have invested in five more companies in Berlin, deploying more than $50M in capital in the city. Today, our Berlin portfolio includes:

As we wrote in VentureBeat in the article 'How German policymakers are hurting Berlin’s startups', there is an iconoclastic streak that runs through Berlin, and the city attracts young makers with creative ambitions from all over the world.

While there are still some practical challenges ahead, we are surprised every day at the quality and originality of the companies getting started in Berlin year after year.

Our Berlin portfolio has grown and matured rapidly and they now collectively employ more than 1,200 people globally, earn more than $100M in annual revenue, and raised more than $160M in funding since Jan 2017.

We expect those numbers to double in 2018.

Jerome Misso, Rob Moffat and (background) Jens Begemann co-founder and CEO of Wooga, our first investment in Berlin.

There's an iconoclastic streak in Berlin, and the city attracts young makers with creative ambitions from all over the world.

Infarm co-founder and CEO Erez Galonska talks to Tim Bunting.

Lunch at Infarm

We started our day at Infarm, the most recent Berlin company to join the Balderton family.

The team at Infarm has pioneered a modular vertical farming technique that can grow herbs, lettuce, vegetables and fruit. Infarm places theses modular farms in customer-facing city locations like grocery stores, restaurants, malls and schools, allowing customers to pick their own produce. 

We got a taste for Infarm's commitment to quality and taste as we shared lunch with their founding team.

An Infarm indoor 'farm' can be found at shopping malls, restaurants, schools and grocery stores.

The Balderton team enjoys lunch with Infarm.

'AMA' at Wooga

Next, we headed out into the city to meet some interesting young companies and tested some electric-powered mobility solutions along the way.

In the afternoon we rendezvoused at Wooga, where we sat together with some of Berlin’s top early investors, including Pawel from Point Nine Capital, Christophe Maire, Max from System.One, Gabriel from, and Philipp from AngelList to discuss how our jobs and firms are changing as software becomes more globalized and venture investing becomes more competitive.

It was a highlight of the trip to hear about the calibre of early-stage founders in Berlin that are attracting top-tier investment from all over the world.

Wooga CEO Jens Begemann hosted the Balderton Partnership with an "Ask Me Anything" session for Berlin startups, at Wooga's Berlin HQ

Finally, all aboard Dalia Research's good ship Spree

Suranga talks to Captain Nico Jaspers of the good ship Spree (and CEO and Founder of Dalia Research)

Dalia had spent a few weekends last summer building a boat as a team-building exercise together, and despite initial concerns to the contrary, we were happy to determine it was spreeworthy.

(You can read about the boat-building exercise on Dalia's blog post 'How Dalia built a boat in just 2 months.')

We were joined onboard with management teams from the whole Berlin portfolio, and other founders. 

It was a memorable night for us, and we’re looking forward to being back soon.

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