June 19, 2008 / 3:43 PM / in 10 years

German Web investors bet on social networks: study

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German venture capital firms and private investors, so-called business angels, are betting their money on social networks when they invest in web-based communities, according to a study.

A Facebook profile in an undated image courtesy of the company. REUTERS/Handout

Angel investors, who typically invest their own funds, said around 41 percent of their capital has gone into social networks, a study of 539 investments in 2008 of 49 investors, venture capital firms and business angels in Germany found.

Venture capital firms on average invested 30 percent of their funds into social networks, the study conducted by German online magazine deutsche-startups.de and trade publisher iBusiness showed.

A spokeswoman said the investors questioned did not disclose the amount of money they invested.

Both types of investors used around 20 percent of their funds to invest in e-commerce and service providers but took different approaches in regard to mobile technology and games, the study said.

Around 7 percent of venture capital funds were used to invest in mobile and games while angel investors used 1 percent of their capital.

According to the study, Holtzbrinck Ventures and its subsidiaries as well as Burda Digital and the European Founders Fund are Germany’s main venture capital investors.

Oliver Jung, who founded IT-company Entory AG, and Lukasz Gadoski, founder of online t-shirt shop Spreadshirt, lead the way among business angels.

Reporting by Nicola Leske; editing by Rory Channing and editing by Tony Austin

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