Next Big Thing AG’s experts to open up the growth market IoT and Blockchain for HDI.

With HDI in this round of financing, the IoT implementation experts from NBT secure a total investment volume of 12 million euros.

NBT’s recipe for success unites specialists, companies and founders for unique market entry opportunities.


Company Builder for IoT and Blockchain gains industrial insurer HDI as a lead investor in its round of financing


Berlin, April 8, 2019 – The company builder Next Big Thing AG (NBT) welcomes a pioneer of a different kind to its current round of financing: Industrial insurer HDI, represented by the Hannover Digital Invest GmbH, is participating as a lead investor. In this Series A round, NBT is securing a total financing volume of 12 million euros. The insurance company has decided to invest in NBT due to its currently unique combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain with a focus on Machine Economy. The cooperation is considered a novelty in the industry. HDI thus intends to expand the market with future services that complement the product for industrial insurance. With NBT as co-innovator, HDI will also have the opportunity to keep pushing its own data-driven innovations forward.

Dr. Thomas Kuhnt (left) and Harald Zapp at the HDI offices in Hannover

Dr. Thomas Kuhnt (left) and Harald Zapp at the HDI offices in Hannover.

“The IoT and blockchain are the technologies that will determine the future of industries in Germany and Europe. Investments like these prove that the industry recognizes this. If you don’t act now, you'll soon be running after the competition,” says Harald Zapp, NBT’s founder and CEO. HDI has found exactly the right partner in his company: “We bring together know-how, entrepreneurial spirit and capital in order to capture the potential of the IoT and blockchain with innovative, functioning business models that are made in Germany,” Zapp adds.

“Data-driven models are becoming increasingly important in the industrial insurance segment. We intend to actively shape this market,” says Dr. Thomas Kuhnt, Member of the Board of Management of HDI Global SE, who is responsible for projects, organization and IT. “With NBT, we are taking the next step towards the machine economy in order to be able to offer our customers integrated solutions and services even after the conclusion of policies.” HDI is not only investing, but will also actively participate in the development of new ventures and the further development of existing ventures. In this way, the insurer can also develop new knowledge and solutions.

“The further development of the insurance industry on the basis of the IoT and blockchain will take place in several phases. On the one hand, it is necessary to obtain more information from physical objects in order to be able to better assess risks, on the other hand, many more customized offers can be made via condition-dependent insurances,” explains Zapp. "However, the development of completely new machine economy services, in which smart contracting and artificial intelligence are used to create completely new insurance products without interpersonal interaction, will be exciting,” says Zapp, providing insights into the future of insurance products.

Besides HDI, the current round of financing also includes the Finlab EOS VC Fund. As an investor, FinLab EOS VC focuses on companies that combine existing business models with the blockchain specifically built on the EOSIO software protocol, which is a perfect expansion of NBT’s current portfolio. “The combination of an experienced industrial insurer and an advancing technology investor shows that there is already a high level of confidence among the investors in the possibilities of IoT and blockchain technology. We will continue to expand this confidence in the future”, says NBT Supervisory Board Chairman Maik Käbisch.

Dr. Thomas Kuhnt (left) and Harald Zapp in a meeting at the HDI offices in Hannover.

The Next Big Thing AG, founded by Harald Zapp and Maik Käbisch, is a combination of a company builder, an innovation hub and a think tank. Based in Berlin, NBT represents the de:hub, the digital hub for the IoT of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. The team has many years of experience in implementing IoT topics and has access to a broad ecosystem of experts. With this expertise, NBT develops and tests new business models together with entrepreneurs and investors. For IoT and blockchain experts, the validation of ideas is a prerequisite for their realization in order to successfully advance partnerships and create low-risk innovations. With its approach, the company brings together the knowledge and ideas of different people to create new business models and further develop existing ones. In this way, NBT and its partners are paving the way for the machine economy.


About Next Big Thing AG

Next Big Thing AG (NBT), founded in 2016, is a Berlin-based IoT and Blockchain Company Builder that establishes successful companies. The company provides a full range of services for the development of IoT joint ventures. NBT is Europe's leading company builder for the Internet of Things and Services (IoT/IoS) and blockchain and currently has 61 employees from 21 nations. As a company builder and corporate innovation partner and operational VC, NBT acts as a hub of a growing ecosystem of companies, founders, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors and politicians. With its unique know-how in IoT, NBT is the point of contact for innovations in Europe – so that companies can realize promising innovations with extraordinary speed. NBT is part of the de:hub, the digital hub initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, which integrates medium-sized and large companies with new innovation partners from science and the start-up scene into a Germany-wide digital network. Further information can be found at

About HDI Global SE (HDI)

As an industrial lines insurer, HDI Global SE (HDI) meets the needs of SMEs, industrial companies and corporate customers with insurance solutions that are specifically tailored to their requirements. In addition to HDI's prominent position in the German and broader European market, the company also has operations in more than 150 countries through foreign branch offices, subsidiary and peer companies, and network partners. The company is thus able to offer its customers local policies for their global operations, which ensure that the established service and insurance protection is extended for all covered risks worldwide.

HDI Global SE is a company in the Talanx Group and manages the Industrial Lines Division within the Group. More than three thousand employees in this division generated gross written premiums of approx. EUR 4.7 billion in the year 2018. The rating agency Standard & Poor’s has given the Talanx Primary Group a financial strength rating of A+/stable (strong).

About EOS VC’s EOS VC program offers developers and entrepreneurs the funding they need to create community-driven businesses leveraging EOSIO. It provides support through venture capital partnership funds that primarily aim to achieve sustained utilization of the EOSIO ecosystem by investing in a concentrated and diversified portfolio of blockchain-focused companies building on the EOSIO software.

The EOS VC initiative is dedicated to fostering a global network of individuals from a number of disciplines through our engagement events. As part of the mission and vision, EOS VC engages with the blockchain developer community on a regular basis.


Download the Press Release: English version | German version


Press Contact

Next Big Thing AG
Falco Schuett


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