About 3 million euros in fresh capital – more and more investors are banking on the success of humangrid
March 23, 2010
The success of humangrid GmbH has persuaded both existing and new investors. The investors SeedCapital Dortmund, Prof. Dr. Conen, High-Tech Gründerfonds as well as the ERP start-up fund of the KfW bank group provided the innovative business with one million euros as recently as mid 2009. The shareholders have now, together with new private investors, Klaus Wecken and his children Ina and Ferry Wecken, provided the company with a further three million euros in capital.
The success story of humangrid began in 2006 with the innovative concept of an internet platform for brokering even the smallest job assignments. The business model is based on what is known as the “crowdsourcing principle”: More than 18,000 workers worldwide are involved in humangrid’s multifaceted customer projects and can resolve the most demanding tasks in the shortest possible time. Larger jobs – such as text creation, product classification or data recording and research – are spread among numerous available workers, known as clickworkers. humangrid’s concept has already been commended on multiple occasions.
“Crowdsourcing has tremendous growth potential: particularly in the media sector there is huge demand for generating content as well as for recording, evaluating and controlling data. The increase in capital will enable us to maintain our extremely rapid pace of growth,” says humangrid’s managing director and former Bertelsmann CIO, Wolfgang Kitza.
The company’s growth is a long way off coming to an end, and the opportunities for using this internet platform are far from having been exhausted. There will consequently be ongoing potential for gaining new customers and developing new markets. Private investor Klaus Wecken: “It is really fun to invest in such an innovative and rapidly growing business and to support a highly professional team in continuing to develop the business: the business model is exceptionally lucrative and crowdsourcing is fully in line with the trend.”
As an innovative service provider, humangrid GmbH utilises the know-how of qualified internet users to flexibly and efficiently execute business processes that cannot be automated or only poorly so. humangrid breaks complex tasks down into micro jobs, passes them on to the clickworkers and, following successful execution, collates them again based on strict quality control. The range of services offered is steadily increasing. The company entered the German market in 2009 and, at the beginning of 2010, it opened a branch office in the United States – the number of clickworkers has risen from 1,500 to more than 18,000 in the past nine months.
About SeedCapital Dortmund
SeedCapital Dortmund GmbH & Co. KG, which is funded by NRW.BANK, Sparkasse Dortmund and private investors, invests in newly formed, innovative technology and growth-oriented businesses in the Dortmund area to support the structural change that is currently underway in this region. The objective behind the funding that SeedCapital Dortmund GmbH & Co. KG provides as early-stage finance therefore is to enable the investee company to run a development process on the basis of which the anticipated, above-average business growth can be realised primarily by involving more, larger-scale institutional investors.
SeedCapital Dortmund GmbH & Co. KG
Phone.: +49 231 18334211
Fax: +49 231 18334299
Start-ups, technology-oriented businesses as well as established small and medium-sized enterprises will find coordinated and transparent equity finance on offer here. KfW raises private equity capital for new, innovative technology businesses with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) and its own ERP start-up fund. In so doing, KfW normally invests without becoming involved in managing the business. Yet the precondition is that another investor (a lead investor) commits at least the same amount. An investment by KfW is subject to the same commercial terms as that from the lead investor.
Department KfW Mittelstandsbank
Phone: +49 228 8317698
Fax: +49 228 8317493
About the High-Tech Gründerfonds:
The High-Tech Gründerfonds invests risk capital in young, high-potential technology companies that convert promising research results in business success. By means of the seed financing of up to 500,000 EUR the start-ups shall carry on with the R & D project until the provision of a prototype or a “proof of concept“ or until the lancing on the market. The High-Tech Gründerfonds has a funds volume of about 272 million EUR. Investors of the Public Private Partnership are the German Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology, the KfW Banking Group and the six industrial company groups BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler, and Carl Zeiss.
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Clemens von Bergmann
Investment Director / Procurist
Phone: +49 228 96568500
Fax: +49 228 96568550