Successful Commerzbank subsidiary strengthens focus on sustainable transformation
April 25 2022
- Innovation unit and early-stage investor main incubator becomes neosfer
- neosfer sharpens business model: focus on linking digitization and sustainability
As neosfer GmbH, the innovation unit and early-stage investor of Commerzbank AG will henceforth focus even more on the digital and sustainable transformation of the economy and the bank. With a new brand concept, the company underscores the change, combines competencies in the areas of digitalization and sustainability, and keeps its entry into new business areas open. The name "neosfer" is international and highlights the development from a pure incubator to a diversified business model. Derived from new, transfer and sphere, it describes the exploration of new areas and the transfer of digital and sustainable know-how into the bank and thus into the economy. In this way, the Commerzbank subsidiary is sharpening its business model and actively responding to the ongoing changes in the market and in society.
Customer demand in the B2B and B2C sectors is no longer just growing for digital solutions, but above all for sustainable solutions. In response, transformation must be driven in both directions. Kai Werner, Managing Director of neosfer, explained: "Digitalization and sustainability are undoubtedly the key drivers of our current times. As neosfer, we are convinced that the two trends cannot be viewed separately from each other but are closely linked and must therefore always be considered simultaneously". To this end, neosfer investigates future technologies that are relevant to business and society, invests in innovative ideas and develops sustainable and digital solutions.
Through investments in technology-driven and sustainable startups, neosfer brings innovations to Commerzbank and to its customers. The portfolio already includes several companies with a focus on sustainability. Successful startup examples include Dabbel, Squake, Global Changer and Grover. The latter recently achieved Unicorn status (market valuation of over $1 billion). In addition, neosfer develops its own prototypes and venture building projects and is always in exchange with network partners."We believe in adding value through collaboration - be it with startups, network partners or customers - in order to identify and jointly tackle the best possible solutions," says Matthias Lais, Founder of main incubator and Managing Director of neosfer. "Technology is not an end in itself for us, but always a tool to generate real customer value.” With the first edition of the Impact Festival last year, the company set an important milestone, linking startups from the ESG sector with established companies and investors to accelerate sustainable transformation. They want to build on that success this year as neosfer GmbH: Impact Festival 2022 will take place on October 5 and 6, 2022 in Offenbach am Main.
As one of the first innovation units and early-stage investors on the market, main incubator has already been part of the Commerzbank Group since 2013. Since its foundation, the company has successfully brought many innovations to the bank and thus actively contributes to the establishment and expansion of the bank's digital transformation. With the rebranding and the deliberate expansion to sustainability, neosfer is scaling its model in line with the strategy of Commerzbank AG.
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neosfer is the early-stage investor and innovation unit of Commerzbank Group. It investigates future technologies that are relevant to business and society, promotes and develops sustainable, digital solutions, and brings them profitably to the bank and its customers. All of this is done through the three areas of invest, build, connect. It creates access to innovation through strategic venture capital (neosfer.invest), in-house development of technologies and business models (neosfer.build), and building ecosystems around the sustainable and digital future of society (neosfer.connect).
With a portfolio of currently 23 digital and sustainable startups, neosfer has always kept its eyes on the future and is continuously developing. Some successful prototypes, such as the Lissi project, the blockchain-based identity network for self-determined identities, have already emerged from this and are being used in the Commerzbank Group. Through its own events, such as the monthly tech startup event series "Between the Towers" and the Impact Festival, the company strengthens its network in the innovation, venture and sustainability sectors.
neosfer GmbH, or neosfer for short, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Commerzbank AG based in Frankfurt am Main.
Commerzbank is the leading bank for the German Mittelstand and a strong partner for around 28,000 corporate client groups and around 11 million private and small-business customers in Germany. The Bank’s two Business Segments – Private and Small-Business Customers and Corporate Clients – offer a comprehensive portfolio of financial services. Commerzbank transacts approximately 30 per cent of Germany’s foreign trade and is present internationally in almost 40 countries in the corporate clients’ business. The Bank focusses on the German Mittelstand, large corporates, and institutional clients. As part of its international business, Commerzbank supports clients with German connectivity and companies operating in selected future-oriented industries. Following the integration of comdirect, private and small-business customers benefit from the services offered by one of Germany’s most advanced direct banks combined with personal advisory support on site. Its Polish subsidiary mBank S.A. is an innovative digital bank that serves approximately 5.5 million private and corporate customers, predominantly in Poland, but also in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2021, Commerzbank generated gross revenues of some €8.5 billion with almost 46,500 employees.