Munich-HQed 27pilots says startups "are the competitive resource of the future." Its founder and CEO, Gregor Gimmy, is credited with spearheading the venture client model, a product of the corporate venture universe that melds innovation capital with bespoke innovation resources to help best-in-class startups carve out a competitive advantage.
That sounds pretty standard but the key's actually in tailoring support so that it resonates with the startup's specific challenges. Venture client offices dedicate heaps of time to in-depth product evaluations to assess whether founders are really the right fit for strategic investment.
Gimmy devised an early model of venture client support while at German carmaker BMW's Startup Garage, billed as the world's "first Venture Client unit."
In mid-2018 Gimmy and the startup garage parted ways and since then he's been at work crafting the operating manual to running a successful independent venture client office over at 27pilots, while continuing to serve BMW in addition to other big German CVCs like Bosch and Siemens from its HQ in Munich.
Now 27pilots itself has been acquired by Deloitte with the aim of strengthening the latter's strategic innovation and venture play. The transfer of 27pilots' assets formally took place on January 1 with the startup now part of Deloitte Germany, though its distinct brand and corporate structure is being maintained.
Deloitte consulting managing partner Nicolai Andersen commented: "Startups have become a critical strategic resource for our clients.
"By combining 27pilots' strength in building and operating world-class corporate venture client units with our consulting business, we can offer our clients comprehensive innovation services in the B2B market.
"This acquisition strengthens Deloitte's corporate venture offering and increases our share of the innovation and venture market."
Gimmy, who was already part of Deloitte's investment partnership prior to the acquisition, added: "The 27pilots team is excited to leverage Deloitte's strong global brand and resources to build on our pioneering work in establishing venture clienting as a groundbreaking corporate venturing tool.
"This will enable us to secure market leadership beyond Germany and the EU, backed by a strong track record with existing clients in nine industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, manufacturing, insurance and retail,