Iconic German group VC bets $ 30 million to support startups that allow traditional businesses to pivot – TechCrunch

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Icon group is a new $ 30 million venture capital fund launched by the German group iconmobile, an agency of the WPP network. This means a reorganization of the business from a full-service innovation agency by also offering VC support.

iconmobile has built a reputation as an innovative agency in technology, design and sustainability, but the turnaround means it will now support tech startups that enable traditional companies to “reinvent their business models and the way they reach their consumers ”.

The icon ventures VC fund will be accompanied by a new corporate branch: ‘icon impact’, the continuation of the well-established iconmobile branch of product innovation and experiences.

The previous iconmobile properties now fall under the icon ventures umbrella:

• RE[AI]TA, a sustainable white label laundry system that filters microplastic fibers through smart washing machines, reduces chemical contaminants and uses “smart grid” washing to save energy. It also tracks which items have been washed and worn, and sends that data to retailers.

• banbutsu, which achieves a lasting treatment of the last mile

• icon embodies a mobility experience company

Thomas Fellger, founder of icon group said: “Whether it’s creating the first connected toothbrush for Oral-B or UX / UI design for the world’s largest automotive brands, icon group strives to take innovation from idea to scale…. Now, with the inclusion of a venture capital fund, we can create the things we believe in without waiting for clearance or additional budget allocations by investing in opportunities where we have deep knowledge and proven impact, what sets us apart from the Big Five. “

Speaking to me on a call, he added, “We are more capable than most companies of turning our R&D knowledge into a quick business opportunity. For example, we found an infrared sensor, which can be used to measure the air quality in Egypt. Because we knew we needed this kind of air quality data, we were able to create a whole new product. And that’s what we’ll be good at: connecting the service points of different products across industries to create for that industry, a new way of seeing their business by changing the business model, or even expanding the services they provide. they couldn’t do it before. “

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