Strong commitment for the start-up scene – cooperation between High-Tech-Gründerfonds and FOND OF

  • HTGF wins the founders of the former start-up FOND OF as investors for the HTGF III
  • HTGF III was reopened for the entry of the FOND OF founders
  • FOND OF founders participate with 3 million euros
  • HTGF joins FOND OF’s new Growth Accelerator xdeck


On the occasion of last year’s Family Day, the HTGF announced the second closing of Fund III with a record volume of EUR 316.5 million. This fund has now been reopened to enable the entry of the founders of the successful Cologne-based company, FOND OF. With an investment of EUR 3 million, the fund volume now totals 319.5 million euros. With their investment, the founders of FOND OF now join renowned investors such as SAP and Qiagen as well as 30 other companies from industry and commerce.

HTGF Managing Director Dr. Alex von Frankenberg is delighted with the new addition to Fund III: “With FOND OF, we are now welcoming the first company in Fund III which was a start-up itself only a short time ago. This has a signaling effect on the entire start-up ecosystem in Germany and it is great that the founders of FOND OF are actively involved in its further development. We are very happy to support the new FOND OF Accelerator with our investment know-how and the power of our international network”.

Dr. Oliver Steinki, Founder and Managing Director of FOND OF, is a guest at the Family Day 2019 (to press release) by High-Tech Gründerfonds today, and with his presentation gives the assembled tech start-ups an insight into the development of his company – from a startup for ergonomic backpacks for school children to a platform for potential development and personal growth.

HTGF Becomes Partner for Startups on the xdeck

The makers of FOND OF will open their new Growth Accelerator, the xdeck, at the beginning of 2020 in their new building project, “The Ship in Cologne”. As an initiative by founders for founders, the xdeck is aiming to address responsible and strong start-up teams from the consumer, commerce and digital sectors. On xdeck, they will receive support in implementing their business models and imparting knowledge in all relevant issues that are encountered during the growth phase. The key here is access to a strong network of successful founders, well-known companies, and outstanding universities as well as proximity to investors. “We are very pleased to be able to count the HTGF among the future partners for our Acceleration Initiative. The xdeck will offer optimal conditions for founders to develop their entrepreneurial spirit,” says Oliver Steinki. This will be further encouraged by the fact that it will be built in the modern and collaborative workspaces of The Ship, Germany’s most digital office building in the future.

Interested enterprises receive further information to the xdeck under Startups can apply for a place on the xdeck at


About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven startups. With EUR 895.5 million in total investment volume across three funds and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge more than 540 startups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and startup experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech startups in a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware, automation, health care, chemistry and life sciences.
To date, external investors have injected over EUR 2 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,400 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 100 companies. Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies ALTANA, BASF, BAYER, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, FOND OF, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.
For more information, click here here

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Stefanie Grüter
T: +49 228 82300 188

About The Ship
The founders of FOND OF GmbH are developers of the pioneering new building project The Ship. It is being built in Cologne-Ehrenfeld and will provide space for around 500 people on a gross floor area of over 13,000 sqm. Completion is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. The 275 FOND OF employees and the founders’ Growth Accelerator, the xdeck, will move into the building in addition to other innovative companies. The Ship stands for a new way of working: networked, agile, collaborative and innovative. In Germany’s most digital future office building, revolutionary technologies will meet a livable work environment.

FOND OF sees itself as a platform for personal growth, development of potentials and innovation. The founders, Oliver Steinki, Florian Michajlezko and Sven-Oliver Pink, started 2010 with the mission to disrupt the market for school bags with their first brand ergobag. The product universe now includes a total of seven kids-, lifestyle- and business-backpack brands as well as a fashion label. All brands are characterized by uniqueness in design, product functionality and manufacturing responsibility.

The Ship / FOND OF:
Laura Kolb
s.immer communications GmbH
T: +49 173 – 3430133