Sophie Ahrens-Gruber joins investment team in Munich, Hannes Blum new partner in Vancouver
Munich/Vancouver, June 28, 2022 – Acton Capital is expanding its team in Europe and its presence in North America. Sophie Ahrens-Gruber will join the firm’s investment team in Munich. Hannes Blum – portfolio entrepreneur, former VP Amazon, and CEO of AbeBooks – was named new partner to head Acton Capital’s investments in Canada and the US. Since 1999, Acton Capital is investing in tech-enabled business models and has supported more than 100 startups across industries, including global category leaders like AlphaSights (UK), Clio (CAN) or Mambu (GER). The announcement follows the successful first closing of Acton Capital’s sixth venture fund ACTON VI and multiple B2B investments in Europe.
Sophie Ahrens-Gruber will join the team of Acton Capital as of July 1st. In her prior roles, she headed the Corporate Business Development and Corporate Responsibility units at Hubert Burda Media. Since 2011, Sophie led the due diligence for numerous deals of the multi-brand media house, served on the board of several US companies, and implemented the corporation’s sustainability program. Prior to her career at Burda, Sophie Ahrens-Gruber has been research and teaching associate for Ludwigs-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich, consulting global companies in various industries on digital transformation. As Limited Partner (LP) she is a longstanding investor in the Acton Capital fund. Sophie Ahrens-Gruber earned a PhD summa cum laude in Management and a Master of Business Research from LMU and Columbia Business School as well as an honors degree in Technology Management of CDTM Munich.
Christoph Braun (Founding Partner, Acton Capital): “Usually, our team members choose to become investors in our fund. With Sophie, it’s the other way round: As one of Acton’s very first LPs, she’s on our side since day one. Now, we finally managed to persuade her to switch roles and join our team. Our companies will benefit from Sophie’s outstanding experience in leadership, governance and digital transformation disrupting industries.
“She’s the perfect fit to our value- and data-driven mindset.”
Christoph Braun, Acton Capital
Hannes Blum, who joined Acton Capital in 2015, lately became new partner and will continue to head Acton Capital’s investments in North America. The ex-Amazon VP and former BCG consultant is an active business angel and board member of numerous tech companies as well as entrepreneur. He was founding and scaling one of Acton Capital’s first portfolio startups “JustBooks”, which he merged with “AbeBooks” from Canada prior to the successful exit to Amazon in 2008. Hannes’ investments on behalf of Acton Capital include virtual healthcare provider Maple, inclusive brand KNIX, meal-kit provider ChefsPlate (exited to HelloFresh in 2018), Software-as-a-Service company Mobify (exited to Salesforce in 2021). Hannes Blum holds a PhD from the Otto Beisheim School of Management (WHU), and a master’s degree in Business and Engineering from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
“For more than ten years, Hannes has been scouting new portfolio companies for our Canadian portfolio. His track record as both – founder and investor – is unique in the industry. As longstanding colleague and friend, we are happy to welcome him finally to the partner squad,” says Christoph Braun. “We are very thankful for their trust and are looking forward to shaping the future of our companies and Acton Capital together.”