+++ Press release +++
German Startups Group – Separation from Nikolas Samios and his Cooperativa now also on a shareholder base level
- – German Startups Group wins constructive, successful investor
- – Lawsuit of German Startups Group against Cooperativa’s anti-competitive violations successful
- – End of sell-off of shares by Cooperativa through the market
Berlin, 6 April 2018 – German Startups Group, a leading venture capital provider in Germany and Berlin-based digital agency with 140 employees, notes with satisfaction that the block of roughly 1m shares or 8% of German Startups Group, held by Cooperativa Venture Services, has been acquired by a successful, constructive investor off-market.
Late 2016, the advisory board together with the general partner prompted the withdrawal of Nikolas Samios from the management of German Startups Group and his change of roles into a service provider position of his Cooperativa. Subsequently, Nikolas Samios has been preparing own activities, competing with those of German Startups Group, behind the back of the company and also attracted shareholders of German Startups Group as potential investors. Also, starting in June 2017, shortly after publication of very positive news of German Startups Group, Cooperativa massively sold off GSG-shares over the stock market without knowledge of the company which Cooperativa had raised as non-cash contribution just weeks before also without the knowledge of the company. Apparently, Nikolas Samios and Cooperativa consciously took into account that it could be stifling the much-awaited share price recovery of its long-time client and future competitor.
On 19 July 2017, the service agreements with Cooperativa had been terminated immediately effective and power of attorney of Nikolas Samios withdrawn. Until exposure, Nikolas Samios had worked nearly 4 years closely with Christoph Gerlinger. Christoph Gerlinger: “We see the action of Niko Samios at the time as a blatant breach of years of trust in him.”
Surprisingly, Cooperativa had been advertising on its website with logos of clients of German Startups Group’s majority holding Exozet, with German Startups Group’s co-investors and logos of German Startups Group’s portfolio companies as well as stating to have made 100 investments and realised four exits which predominantly have not been investments of Cooperativa and fully have not been exits of Cooperativa. Subsequently, German Startups Group had prompted Cooperativa to take down those incorrect and misleading advertising contents. After refusing to sign a cease-and-desist declaration legal cases were pending which now have been fully ruled to Cooperativa’s detriment, which meanwhile has started a VC fund named PropTech1. Christoph Gerlinger: “Niko Samios had adorned his Cooperativa with borrowed plumes, predominantly with ours. The, in our view partly fraudulent statements of Cooperativa at that time reveal a strongly embellished self-image of Niko Samios for us. We assume that, until then, Cooperativa itself at best had made a handful of investments and thereby realized no exit.”
Only in one week of January 2018, Cooperativa had sold 70k GSG-shares via the stock exchange. With the reallocation of the block of shares taken place the episode of the share’s sell-off is ending.
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German Startups Group
German Startups Group – We Love Startups!
German Startups Group is a listed investment company and digital agency based in Berlin that focuses on young, fast-growing companies, so-called startups. The company acquires majority and minority shareholdings mainly by providing venture capital. Its focus is on companies whose products or business models includea disruptive innovation, allow for a high degree of scalability to be expected, and in which it has a great deal of trust in the entrepreneurial abilities of the founders. The geographical focus is on the German-speaking region. Since it commenced with operations in 2012, German Startups Group has in its opinion built up a diversified portfolio of investments in young companies and become the most active private venture capital investor in Germany since 2012 (CB Insights 2015, PitchBook2016). 22 of the 42 minority stakeholdings in operationally active companies are of particular significance to German Startups Group and together comprise 89% of the total value of all 42 active minority stakeholdings. The 10 core holdings alone make up 61% of the value of all active minority stakeholdings. According to German Startups Group, its investment portfolio reflects a cross-section of promising German startups of various maturity stages (“Seed,” “Early” and “Growth Stage,” by German Startups Group’s own definition) and includes some of the most successful and best known German startups.
More information at https://sgt-germanpe.com/.