Highlights 2019


Tidjane Dème (left) and Cyril Collon, heads of the investment fund Partech Africa.

BI Expands its Network and Focus

Bertelsmann Investments (BI) expanded its portfolio of start-ups and funds to a total of 230 holdings in 2019, with an increasing focus on new growth regions such as Southeast Asia and Africa. One example is the holding in the Partech Africa fund, which invests in African technology start-ups. In Europe as well, tech start-ups were the focus of the BI network’s expansion – as in the investment in Blossom Capital 1, a fund that invests primarily in European companies from the financial services, cybersecurity and infrastructure sectors.

Education Provider Impresses BBI and the Stock Exchange

Bertelsmann Brazil Investments (BBI) celebrated the successful IPO of a prominent investment in 2019: the Brazilian continuing education company Afya Education successfully debuted on the New York Nasdaq in July amid a shower of confetti. The educational provider specializes in medical education and training programs, and is the largest of its kind in Brazil with around 36,000 students. Bertelsmann Investments holds an indirect stake in the up-and-coming company via a fund investment with its partner Crescera Investimentos. BBI, in cooperation with co-shareholders and the Afya management, has thus successfully entered an attractive and dynamic market.
With a large advertisement at its building in New York’s Times Square, Nasdaq welcomes the newcomer Afya.

Bertelsmann Asia Investments Score Record Returns

In 2019, Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI) generated more than €200 million in proceeds from the sale of former holdings, a BAI record. Most of this sum came from the sale of shares in the live-streaming and short-video platform Bigo. The platform, in which BAI first invested in 2015, rapidly developed into one of the most successful video platforms in Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East with the apps Bigo Live, Likee and IMO. BAI’s shares in the Chinese bike-sharing service provider Hellobike and the social network Momo were also successfully sold.