Phoenix Contact Innovation Ventures invests in proptech company Digital Spine, whose brand Aufzughelden delivers a unique, real-time solution for elevators in the smart building market

Published: 12 July 2022

Together with Join Capital, Phoenix Contact Innovation Ventures leads a Series A round for Berlin-based proptech company Digital Spine GmbH.

Blomberg, Germany, July, 12 2022

Digital Spine GmbH, the German company founded in 2020 as an independent spin-off from Vestner Digital, announced today a Series A financing round with new investors Join Capital and Phoenix Contact Innovation Ventures together with existing investor Goldbeck Family Office. With this round, Digital Spine aims to accelerate digital transformation and automation in the elevator industry and smart building sector. Digital Spine’s development trajectory, pioneering technology and decades of expertise in the elevator industry make it poised to capture market share in the DACH region.

“We are really happy to welcome Digital Spine as our 9th portfolio company and to further extend our footprint in the building automation market. We believe that the digitization of elevators in buildings is the key to digitising other building components in order to create a digital backbone for smart buildings,” said Marcus Böker, Managing Director Phoenix Contact Innovation Ventures.“Together with the team of Aufzughelden, we want to further exploit the potential in the real estate sector to create added values to customers by offering smart solutions. Existing shareholders and our own operating units at Phoenix Contact both believe that we are strongly able to realise additional benefits for the company.”

Digitalizing the elevator industry

The Berlin-based start-up Digital Spine GmbH is known for its brand Aufzughelden. The proptech company has created a powerful technology for digitising elevators in buildings. The cloud- and IoT-based technology is enabling a platform-as-a-service business model and making elevator data increasingly transparent. Remote monitoring and smart decision-making based on data supports building owners as well as elevator users themselves.

With successful implementation to customers, Digital Spine’s AI uses its collected data for predictive maintenance and increased elevator operation. The platform also offers additional features such as document management and documentation of CO2 reduction.

“With the current pressure on elevator owners to keep elevators in operation and reduce maintenance costs, Digital Spine’s smart IoT device and proprietary software are perfectly poised to offer tangible value and save building owners up to 15%,” said Jan Borgstädt, Partner at Join Capital. “We were impressed by the team’s vast experience in the market, as well as their technology and independent business model, which allows them to service the entirety of the market. We are happy to support this team by leading a Series A round to enable its expansion and development across the DACH region.”

Since its foundation, Digital Spine has demonstrated a strong track record of implementing strategic and tactical business and product milestones – with notable growth occurring after closing its seed round last year with the Goldbeck Family Office and other experienced investors for a seven-figure amount.

“We are very happy to announce the closing of our Series A financing round with Phoenix Contact Innovation Ventures and Join Capital – just one year after Goldbeck joined our company.  This puts us in an excellent position for the future. We are the only player in the market to offer a real-time solution in elevator management. The financing enables us to consistently continue our growth in the smart building sector," said Simon Vestner, founder and CEO of Digital Spine.

Meanwhile, Digital Spine has increased its customer base to a three-digit number over the period and was also able to double its CARR every month in 2021. Major customers include leading construction and residential companies in the DACH region. In addition, Digital Spine has also gained many well-established partners who contribute to the growth of the smart building sector and ecosystem.



PHOENIX CONTACT Innovation Ventures is the global corporate venture capital company of the PHOENIX CONTACT Group, a global manufacturer and supplier of components and systems for electrical connection and industrial automation technology. The venture capital company invests in startups with business models that are related to electrical connection technology, industrial digitization, automation and control technology, and associated markets.

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Aufzughelden is a team of elevator experts, IoT developers and specialists in the fields of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The diversity makes the team strong: Understanding every elevator by drawing on the experience of 90 years of elevator construction. The potential that lies in automation is leveraged by this. The elevator as the digital backbone of buildings is just the beginning.

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Join Capital is a Berlin-based, early-stage VC firm investing in the European Neue Industry. With a combined experience of more than 50 years among the partners, Join focuses primarily on industrial and enterprise startups that are laying new foundations for our increasingly automated and connected world. Join’s extensive corporate network and expertise make it a unique VC for the European industrial landscape.

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