<!–:en–>Interview with Companisto GmbH<!–:–><!–:de–>Interview mit Companisto GmbH<!–:–><!–:ru–>Интервью с Companisto GmbH (Russian)<!–:–><!–:ro–>Interviu cu Companisto GmbH<!–:–>

Companisto is the fastest-growing crowd investing platform in Europe. English-Team had the opportunity to talk to Kai Lehmann, Head of Communications at Companisto GmbH.

English-Team:The name Companisto is an interesting invented word. I assume that it is based on the English word “company”?

Companisto:Exactly. On the one hand it reminds us of company, on the other, of companion – because the micro investors who invest in startups – we call them Companisten – certainly become an active part of startups. Not only do they guarantee investment, they are also on hand for input and get involved as supporters of the company, for example in the comment section on the Companisto platform.

Companisto is a crowd investing platform where startup businesses only have one contractual partner, namely Companisto.

What advantages does Companisto have over other portals such as Seedmatch.de?


An overview of Companisto’s advantages and innovations:

  • No minimum investment amount: Everyone can participate
  • Investors benefit in addition to profit sharing, in particular if the startup is also sold (exit proceeds)
  • Longer contract periods to protect investors: For this reason profit participation has good initial prospects
  • Companisto is VC compatible: In contrast to other providers, Companisto Crowd Investing has been tailored specifically to the needs of major investors
  • There are no high minimum investment amounts at Companisto. Investments are possible from as little as 5.00 euros. This is worth it even for instant startups as the bigger the fan base, the more successful the business is. As a result, with the Companisto model there are no administrative costs for the startup. In this respect it makes no difference whether 200 or 2000 investors participate because in any case, the startup has only one single contractual partner with Companisto.

Startups gain “true” multipliers. Companisto also enables young, web-minded, well-connected people to be involved in startups. It is exactly these people, well acquainted with social networking, who are the ideal multipliers. They provide a valuable contribution to the success of startups by their strong communication behavior. Due to the high minimum investment amounts of other providers, this target group has up to now been completely excluded from investing in startups – to the detriment of startups.

Companisto´s participation model has been specifically designed in consultation with venture capital companies so that nothing stands in the way of follow-on investment by VC companies or angel investors after crowd investing at Companisto.

You have already said that the decisive difference from all other crowd investing models is that at Companisto the startup only enters into one contract: Companisto is its only contractual partner. In contrast, micro investors have exclusive contracts with Companisto. This contractual bundling of micro investors by Companisto has enormous benefits for startups.

Due to investor bundling the funded businesses have no administrative costs. Startups therefore only have to make one tax declaration at the end of the year, since Companisto is only a silent partner. However with other providers the startup has to make up to two hundred tax declarations every year because the startup has to enter into an individual participation contract with every micro investor.

The ´VC compatible´ Companisto participation model speaks for itself: Startups at Companisto only have one contractual partner and therefore retain a streamlined and clear participation structure – this is a prerequisite for all follow-on financing by VC companies. At the same time, the Companisto bundling model enables the startup to gain a large number of valuable supporters.

How long does it take for an investor to set up his investor contract at Companisto? The investor receives his participation contract immediately after sending the share purchase by email, together with the share certificate, terms and conditions, and notice of cancellation. You become a “Companist” in a matter of seconds.

English-Team:How much do investors invest on average?

Companisto:That depends on the startup. At Companisto itself, investors have contributed about 220 euros on average; for the Charité spin-off doxter it was about 230 Euros. In any case it is evident that a whole new class of investors has been reached, especially young, web-minded people, and also many women. This pleases us a lot.

English-Team:How long are the investment periods?

Companisto:That is another very important aspect. Companisto participation contracts last from eight to ten years. Investors also benefit from profits during this period. Investors should be aware that the contract duration with the startup lasts as long as possible. This is because in general young businesses make no profits in the initial years; rather they invest every euro in its continuing growth. Profits are paid out to shareholders only after these years of growth. If participation ends before this time, investors no longer share in the profits. Profit participation therefore becomes lucrative above all through long contract periods. We recommend at least eight years. In contrast to other crowd investing platforms, at Companisto investors also share in the proceeds when a company is sold to a major investor (so-called exit). An exit occurs typically between three and seven years after the business startup. Micro investors should therefore pay attention to the long participation contract periods and their exit participation. Why should they be worse off than major investors?

English-Team:Can foreign investors also be “Companisten”?

Companisto:At the moment German residency is required.

English-Team:How many startups has Companisto already funded successfully and how many will there be by the end of 2013?

Companisto:Companisto was launched at the beginning of June 2012. Since then we have been able to pay out shares of 100,000 euros each for two startups – doxter and uns. A total of 245,000 euros has already been invested by more than 1,000 investors. At present, you can participate in ePortrait, a startup which enables you to create biometric photos quickly, easily and above all cheaply via webcam. Plus you can take as many photos as you like to use for your identity card for the coming years. It would be difficult to make a prediction for the end of 2013. We will significantly increase our numbers. The best thing would be to check the website regularly www.companisto.de and get an overview of the startups.

English-Team:What does Companisto do to promote the portal and its concept?

Companisto:In theory, social media allows us to reach nearly everybody. Facebook, Twitter, Google and Xing are essential and our homepage gives detailed information too. We are also happy of course to give interviews to raise awareness about crowd investing itself and to promote Companisto and “our” startups.


5 thoughts on “<!–:en–>Interview with Companisto GmbH<!–:–><!–:de–>Interview mit Companisto GmbH<!–:–><!–:ru–>Интервью с Companisto GmbH (Russian)<!–:–><!–:ro–>Interviu cu Companisto GmbH<!–:–>

  1. An sich finde ich die Idee super, nur ich muss noch bis 2016 warten bis ich von meinem eingesetzten Gewinn einen im Verhältnis gut stehenden Gewinn erhalten werden.

    Viel Glück Companisto ! :)

      • Ich habe einen kleinen Betrag in ePortrait investiert. Aber weniger als Kapitalanlage, sondern mehr weil mir die Idee gefällt. Und vielleicht kann man 2016 mit einem Gewinn im 7-stelligen Bereich rechnen, dann fällt auch eine nette Summe für die Companisten ab :)

        Hast du Geld investiert?

        • Hallo Holger, ja ich bin genauso wie Du ein Companist und habe Geld in ePortrait investiert. Die ePortrait Gründer selbst und deren Konzept haben mich überzeugt. In ein paar Jahren werden wir Companisten einen ordentlichen Return on Investment bekommen ;-) .

          Seit wann bist Du denn Companist?

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