Corporate Venture Capital

A passing trend during times of crisis, or the future of entrepreneurial investment?

Your expert for questions

Florian Nöll

Florian Noell
CVC Center of Excellence at PwC Germany
Tel: +49 30 2636-4176

Securing access to future technologies

For any company seeking to compete globally and stand out from its competition, innovation is crucial. Increasingly, global champions are turning to external sources of innovation to drive their business forward. While their own research and development activities remain important, new market entrants are often quicker to achieve success with major innovative leaps forward.

Established companies are increasingly opting to collaborate with up-and-coming startups and profit from younger technological pioneers. Compared to other forms of collaboration, one aspect is noteworthy: worldwide direct investment by companies in startups has tripled in the years between 2014 and 2019. What's behind this trend? Companies can pursue two objectives through their corporate venture capital activities: financial yields and strategic returns. Focusing on the latter category, in particular, is increasingly enabling companies to gain access to future technologies, digital talents and expertise (for example, new markets and business models). For many companies, this represents a major step towards securing their own ability to thrive in the future.

The experts at PwC's Center of Excellence for Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) help you to seize opportunities arising from investing in innovative startups. Our NextLevel initiative aims to leverage our strong position in the ecosystem to build bridges between (Corporate) Venture Capital, young tech companies and family-owned businesses and corporations. Our mission is to support innovation drivers with a holistic view, from strategy to execution.

“I'm confident that by working together, today's market leaders and startups can bring about the most successful innovations.”

Florian Noell,Head of CVC Center of Excellence at PwC Germany

CVC ecosystem in Germany

A key pillar of startup financing

The global trend towards increasing CVC activities and deals has also hit Germany: the CVC ecosystem has evolved significantly since 2004. More than 137 corporate venture capital companies are actively investing in Germany.

Business expansion opportunities through CVC

Win-win situation: startups and corporates benefit equally

By collaborating with startups, established companies can generate a large number of advantages for themselves. Yet, the startups also benefit from cooperating with experienced entrepreneurs – making this a classic win-win situation.

Our offering for existing and planned CVC activities

PwC supports businesses looking to invest in startups and establish their own corporate venture capital unit in four areas:


Which opportunities does corporate venture capital hold in store for our current business and and what is the available budget? What are the primary objectives and focus of investment? How do investments in startups fit with our strategy?

Companies have to ask themselves a range of questions to find the CVC strategy that suits them best. PwC's experts will help you to find the right answers so your CVC unit can be successful in the long run.


How should we change our culture and thinking within the company so that corporate venture capital can be successfully implemented?

In order to build up a successful CVC unit, you need an experienced and competent team, supported by the right mindset within the executive board and management. PwC's experts can help you establish a powerful culture within your company and equip key employees with the knowledge needed for your CVC unit to succeed.


How is the investment unit structured from a legal and tax standpoint? How will it be managed, and what will the governance structure look like? How do we define the guidelines and criteria for investments?

In order to successfully execute the strategy, the structure of the CVC unit must be well planned. Transparent and coherent communication, is a key success factor, to engage the organization and create lasting interfaces with key stakeholders. A lot can go wrong when implementing the governance structure. In particular, family-owned businesses need to take tax implications into account. Ultimately, there is also the option of outsourcing CVC activities. PwC's experts know your potential partners and selection criteria. We can help you expand your innovation activities with venture capital.


How to generate a substantial deal flow for your unit? How can a portfolio’s performance (strategic/ financial) best be measured? What are the right investment criteria for your? Which common pitfalls and mistakes need to be avoided?

PwC's experts can help you find compatible startups by giving you access to our comprehensive network and initiating the search based on your specific requirements. In addition, we will acquaint you with best practices and help you optimise the structure of your CVC unit, if required. This also includes the search for the right co-investors for you and assisting in the sale and acquisition process.

Looking for a partner? We're here for you!

Get to know PwC's team who will help you invest in innovative startups to shape the future together.

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Our expertise

Our experts have a vast range of know-how when it comes to advising  startups and corporate venture capital units. We bring together experienced companies and entrepreneurs and thereby foster innovation.

“Even if it doesn't seem like it in these times of crisis: I'm confident that the future offers attractive opportunities for strategic business investments in startups.”

Klara Koerber,Co-Head of CVC Center of Excellence at PwC Germany

Insights and studies

Startups. NextLevel initiative

Established companies are increasingly looking for innovation and technologies while disruptive startups are in need of market access and know-how. PwC’s NextLevel team has made it its mission to connect the innovation ecosystem of established companies with younger ventures as well as investors to foster collaboration and in the end, the beneficial exchange between the aforementioned partners. Our industry knowledge and extensive network paired with our passion and commitment to drive innovation forward, makes us your first point of contact in the ecosystem. Find out more about how you can benefit from our services, disrupt your business and foster open innovation in your company.

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Contact us

Florian Noell

Florian Noell

EMEA Startups, Scaleups & Venturing Leader, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 160 90591673

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