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Two European family offices co-invest in cybersecurity business

Two family offices, one German, the other Swiss-based, have invested alongside three US venture capital groups in San Francisco-based cybersecurity startup, Nozomi Networks. The investment is not only interesting from a co-investment perspective, but also because of the cross-board nature of it.

THI Investments, the family office of the Stuttgart-based Hagenmeyer family, and Planven Investments, the Swiss-based family office of Carlo De Benedetti, whose family own Italian holding company, CIR Group. The venture firms also involved in the Series C funding round worth $30 million were Menlo Park-based GGV Capital, Chicago-based Energize Ventures, and New York City-based Lux Capital.

Planven has backed Nozomi, which was set up in 2013, in all four senior rounds of funding and THI Investments also committed funds in a Series B round for Nozomi early this year.

Although European family offices are investing in US startups, it is still relatively rare

THI Investments was established in 2016 by the Hagenmeyer family after they sold Getrag, an automobile component maker, which had been owned by the family for 80 years. According to German media reports, the sale netted the family €1.7 billion and since setting up THI Investments they have gone on to invest in startups, including used-car sales venture, Instamotion, a vehicle parts startup, Compredict, and an online foreign language group called Learnship.

THI Investments’ principal is Tobias Hagenmeyer, who took over the management of the family business in 1982 after the death of his father and founder of Getrag. Christoph Becker, the ex-general counsel of Getrag, is managing director of the family office, which employees at least six investment specialists.

Planven Investments has been an active investor in startups for more than 10 years, investing in numerous starts in the US, Israel, and Italy. Its CIO is Giovanni Canetta Roeder, a former investment banker.

Although European family offices are investing in US startups, it is still relatively rare, and few are coming together from two different countries and deciding to co-investing like Planven and THI Investments have done so.

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