KLAUS HOMMELS

Founder & CEO, Lakestar, Zurich, Switzerland
He has a keen eye for spotting unicorns, he’s a proud European and willing to fight for the future of the old continent, especially in the digital sphere.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN

Klaus Hommels is the founder of Lakestar, a Zurich-based firm with offices in Berlin, London, New York and Hong Kong. Founded in 2012 after years of Hommels investing on his own, Lakestar raised US$350 million for its third fund in 2015.  

His investment track record has earned Hommels the 3rd position on Forbes 2017’s Midas List Europe, the ranking of the top tech investors in Europe and Israel. As an early investor into Facebook, King.com, Skype and Spotify among many more, Hommels’ certainly does seem to have the Midas effect on startups.

He meets regularly with representatives from Europe’s largest corporations to encourage them to work with startups, as well as with European Union regulators in Brussels. Hommels says he dreams of simpler regulations that could encourage more research within the EU for startups such as drone companies. Hear him speak about picking winners and influencing regulators at WORLDWEBFORUM 2019.

ABOUT LAKESTAR

Lakestar has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and works alongside ambitious founders to create successful companies. Lakestar operates in early and growth-stage ventures by partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs worldwide, focusing on internet and technology companies that can quickly achieve global scale. Founded and led by Klaus Hommels, one of Europe’s leading venture capitalists, Lakestar has invested in many of the companies that define today’s digital economy, including Facebook, Spotify and Skype, and more recently Opendoor, GoEuro, FiveAI, Blockchain and Shapeshift. It has presence in Zurich, Berlin, London, New York and Hong Kong.

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BIOGRAPHY

Klaus is one of the leading European business angels and founder of Lakestar. He is or has been involved in numerous successful internet investments including QXL/Tradus, Skype, Facebook, King.com, Xing, Klarna, SumUp and Spotify. He invests in promising start-ups that have the potential to become major players in the internet space.Klaus started his career at Bertelsmann. He joined AOL Germany in 1995 as board member, responsible for business development, content and advertising sales. Klaus was also involved in the establishment of Freenet and was a Venture Partner of Benchmark Capital. Klaus graduated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Fribourg in Switzerland and holds a PhD degree in Finance from the same university. He was named “most successful European entrepreneurial private investor of the year” in 2006 by a group comprised of IESE, INSEAD and the University of St Gallen. In 2011 Klaus was named the NOAH Internet Investor of the year. In 2013, Forbes ranked him first among European investors on the 2013 MIDAS list.