The Lab1886 will be acquired by RB-Capital GmbH, Daimler will hold a minority interest in the resulting 1886Ventures innovation platform.
The Lab1886 will be acquired by RB-Capital GmbH, Daimler will hold a minority interest in the resulting 1886Ventures innovation platform.
( Source: Daimler)

M&A Daimler sells its innovation forge Lab1886

Editor: Florian Richert

The in-house innovation unit Lab1886 is, to no small extent, sold by Daimler. The subsidiary, titled by Daimler as a "global innovation machine," with offices in Stuttgart, Berlin, Beijing, and Atlanta, has developed prestigious products such as Car-2-Go, Moovel, and Mercedes Me.

Daimler's innovation forge Lab1886 is becoming the open innovation platform 1886Ventures. Large parts of the project portfolio and the spinoffs of Lab1886 under general manager Susanne Hahn are being sold to the investment company RB-Capital of Ulrich Dietz, founder and primary shareholder of GFT. As a strategic partner, Daimler AG holds a minority interest of 10% in the resulting 1886Ventures. Ulrich Dietz takes over the majority of 80% through his RB-Capital GmbH. Another 10% is held by the internationally operating software company GFT Technologies SE. The goal of the new company is to advance the already existing projects of Lab1886 and to develop innovative business models based on future technologies together with new partners. The focus is on the areas of automated driving, connectivity, green energies, and digital business models.

"I'm delighted to be working with Daimler and GFT to create a unique innovation platform for future technologies in the industrial sector. After 13 years of pioneering work in the automotive group, the know-how of Lab1886 will provide us with excellent support in the development of new business models. Coupled with GFT's digital knowledge and our experience in building start-ups, we put 1886Ventures in an excellent position. The goal is to develop 1886Ventures with the promising portfolio of Lab1886 into an innovative and successful technology holding," said Ulrich Dietz, managing partner of RB-Capital GmbH.

CEO of Lab1886 GmbH moves with core team to Deloitte

Together with CEO Matin Ebrahimchel, a significant part of the team of the Berlin-based Daimler subsidiary Lab1886 GmbH will move to Deloitte in the course of another transaction. With Deloitte's Digital Ventures team headed by Andy Goldstein, the new division will operate under the name LAUNCH and start with Daimler as a client.

"With its asset-based venture-building approach, LAUNCH offers the opportunity to develop innovative assets globally, especially in economically challenging times, and to implement them in new collaborations," said Deloitte partner Andy Goldstein. "The goal is to identify new technologies, innovations, and projects in companies which we can bring to the market quickly and effectively as independent spinoffs with new investors. We are pleased that we were able to win Matin Ebrahimchel and his team for this purpose."

"In Lab1886, technologies, business models, and start-ups with great potential have emerged. However, company-owned innovation areas focusing on new business often reach the limits of implementation in the commercialization phase at the latest. We're pleased that we have found an optimal solution for our Lab1886, which offers excellent setups for the respective teams to be able to implement newly developed innovation activities in the future efficiently," said Jörg Howe, Head of Global Communications Daimler AG.