During its comparably short 40-year history, the German venture capital market has developed into one of the largest and most important national venture capital markets in Europe. Smaller only than the British (EUR 3.958 bn), French (EUR 1.689 bn), and Spanish (EUR 1.295 bn) venture capital markets, it ranks fourth in terms of new investments with EUR 1.079 bn invested in 2004. As a result of this significant investment activity, venture capital is one of the fastest growing and most visible segments of the German economy, with new investments growing at an annual growth rate of 10.6% over the past ten years and representing 0.50%o of the German gross domestic product (GDP) in 2004.1 Venture capital investments are believed to substantially contribute to the German economy’s structural change because they are systematically employed to support“creative destruction” through innovation and growth.2


Gross Domestic Product Cash Flow Venture Capital Financial Instrument Convertible Security 
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© Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006

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