We were a little concerned at the end of last year that one of Europe’s better VCs, Paul Jozefak (@pjozefak) had parted ways with his firm Neuhaus Partners in Hamburg, and that there was no news on his next move.
Now the word on the street appears to be that he’s working on something pretty interesting. I’ve heard through the grapevine that he’s told people about a new project called Liquid Labs. I reached out for comment but he politely declined.
Still, I hear he’s been hanging out with one Michael Backes, formerly of eVenture (the Otto venture fund in Hamburg) and is now working internally at the Otto Group. Otto is the gargantuan German retailer.
Liquid Labs is registered in Pauls name and Liquid Labs GmbH is in the German company commercial register and is fully owned by the Otto Group.
So we have a former investment manager from one fund (Backes) and a Managing Partner (Jozefak) from another fund. Interesting.
Putting that all together, this looks like some sort of skunkworks for the Otto Group.
Otto has already invested in a classical venture fund (eVenture) as well as Project A Ventures, the guys who bailed on clones kings Rocket Internet. Perhaps Liquid Labs is rounding out their portfolio?
Whatever the case, we hear it’ll all be happening in Hamburg, which may buy it slightly easier terms against white-hot Berlin where it seems every engineer wandering into Alexander Platz is being hired.