Kai, Phil & Tobi meet at European Business School in the Rheingau.
2006: They start their first joint start-up: The sport social network, “sportme”, first in Frankfurt am Main then in Berlin.
Learning it – the hard way: typical beginner mistakes, but enough grit to survive.
Several funding rounds cumulating in €1.8m, growing the network to >10k sports clubs, #1 in Germany.
2008: Crash in ad markets, three pivots, minimum wage and living in the office.
Facebook comes and kills them all: sportme amongst the last surrenders.
2008: Kai, Tobi und Phil set up Rheingau Ventures as joint holding company to seize freed sportme resources for new ventures.
To reduce the risk of failure with only one idea, they decide to start 3 separate projects in parallel, out of the same office, hoping at least one will make it.
In order to do that, the three search for like minded partners and co-founders to run the specific ventures.
Co-founded in 2008, successful exit in 2010 (MBO).
Founded 2008, 75+ employees, break-even since 2014.
Co-founded in 2008, exited in 2014 to takeaway.com (Trade Sale for > US$ 100mn).
Meanwhile Tobi und Phil grew the Rheingau Ecosystem by setting up Rheingau Founders and closing the first fund to co-found further start-ups.
As Lieferando develops into a key asset, Kai dedicates 100% of his time and resources and acts as Lieferando’s CEO until the exit.
Further strengthening the Rheingau Ecosystem by establishing the Rheingau Club to provide follow up financing for co-founded companies.
The team has founded more than 18 start-ups from scratch, from failures to multimillion euro exits, and learning every step of the way. Today’s Rheingau Team grew from three guys bootstrapping into one of Europe’s most successful and sustainable co-founding ecosystems.
Lieferando grows to service more than 10,000 restaurants in Germany.
2014: Marius joins the team as legal counsel and managing director of the Investors Club.
Grows to more than 200 employees
After the Lieferando exit, Kai joins the core team to engage in other portfolio startups.
Johann joins the team, adding financial and investing expertise and setting up an opportunity fund to further grow The Rheingau Group.
RHEINGAU FOUNDERSSystematic co-founding is the DNA of the Rheingau ecosystem. Active idea generation and team building around the most promising, innovativebusiness models, limited to 2–3 new ventures a year.
RHEINGAU VENTURESTrack record of joint and individual investments in high-tech online-based business models. Allows for opportunistic angel investments in which no co-founding management or consulting is carried out.
RHEINGAU CLUBThrough the RHEINGAU CLUB, investors are offered a proprietary deal flow of Rheingau-proven business models. The open fund is explicitly dedicated to match 3rd-party follow on funding up to €2.5mn for own co-founded companies.
RHEINGAU CAPITALOpportunistic venture fund that can fuel further growth of co-founded companies as well as pro-actively invest in European ventures.