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Nebenan.de sells majority stake in million euro deal

CEO Christian Vollmann leaves his operational role to become chairman after investment of Munich based Hubert Burda Media

Good Hood GmbH, the company that owns and runs nebenan.de, the Berlin-based startup that connects neighbors through its online platform, today announced that it sold its majority stake to Munich based media & tech company Hubert Burda Media in a double-digit million euro deal. 

CEO Christian Vollmann shares the details of his business move with Bits & Pretzels Media, explaining that the startup aims to invest the new financial resources in growth & marketing though he didn’t want to disclose any specifics around the deal volume. 

With its about 1.6 million users in about 8.000 German neighborhoods, the 2015 started nebenan.de is the market leader in what itself calls an “online network for neighbors”. Moving forward, nebenan.de wants to specifically expand its user base in the rural areas of Germany and to become profitable which it is not yet.

The new funding round raises the volume of money invested in nebenan.de to 35 million euro.  As part of the deal, Vollmann who co-founded the network in 2015 is going to withdraw from operational tasks and to take over the role of the chairman of the advisory board. The co-founders Ina Remmers and Till Behnke will lead the company's operational business moving forward.

“With nebenan.de we’ve created a whole new category for social networks, which are networks that connect people for social benefit", as Vollmann told Bits & Pretzels Media. "And for the first time it’s a new digital category made in Germany that’s not dominated by the large US incumbents like Facebook.” 

Nebenan.de and Hubert Burda Media share close bonds from the beginning. Burda has already invested in the networks’ series A funding as a lead investor in 2018 as well as in an earlier venture round. 

Compared to other social networks such as Facebook or Linkedin, nebenan.de states that it’s not monetizing its users as its business model “is not data-driven and we don’t evaluate any data or behavioral patterns from our users", Vollmann points out. "We think it’s a competitive advantage.” 

Revenue for the network comes from three sources so far: advertising, private donors & public institutions. Especially during the pandemic, the team of 80 employees saw a lot of growth with five times more new user signups compared to pre-pandemic times, as Vollmann recounts. In addition to Burda, Deutsche Tele Medien GmbH, Nordwest-Zeitung Verlagsgesellschaft and pd ventures, the venture arm of Mediengruppe Pressedruck Augsburg, stay on board as stakeholders of nebenan.de.