HitFox Group is an entrepreneurial investment firm headquartered in Berlin. HitFox develops platforms of synergetic companies focusing on emerging digital markets: Heartbeat Labs builds healthtech companies. FinLeap specializses in financial technologies. A third platform grows advertising technology and big data businesses. Together, HitFox Group’s companies employ more than 1000 professionals on three continents. Many of these companies became profitable within three years after launch and today are market leaders in their space.
Founder & CEO
Partner & Chief Financial Officer
Chief Technology Officer
Jan Beckers has been leveraging the opportunities of the internet to develop new businesses his whole life: First within student communities, then in gaming, advertising and financial services and now in healthcare.
While still studying business in Münster, he launched the event portal studenta.de in 2004, and thereafter, the job portal absolventa.de, which became his first double-digit million exit deal.
In 2008, he began focusing on advertising technologies for mobile, apps and games. Together with Lukasz Gadowski, he founded Madvertise, which was sold four years later for a double-digit million amount. In 2009, he co-founded Fyber, another adtech start-up, which lead to a three-million digit valued exit deal just five years after launching.
In 2011, Jan co-founded HitFox, a gaming distribution start-up. He and his team turned it into a platform for various adtech startups. One of the most successful enterprises on the HitFox platform is AppLift, which today analyzes the anonymized data of nearly 80% of the world’s smartphone population outside China, to make mobile ads more relevant and more successful.
For his success in the adtech space, the global consulting firm EY awarded Jan Beckers “Entrepreneur of the Year 2014”.
Later in the same year, Jan laid the foundation for bringing digital change to the next industry: financial services. Together with his long-term business partner Hendrik Weber he founded the company builder FinLeap, which has quickly become the go-to player for financial technologies, attracting institutional investors and partners such as the world’s third largest reinsurer, Munich Re, and the insurance company Signal Iduna. Jan was behind the idea to apply for a full banking license for FinLeap’s financial service provider Solarisbank, which the company attained in a record-breaking nine months. Less than two years after launch, Solarisbank was valued at a three-digit million euro amount.
In 2017, together with an experienced team of serial entrepreneurs, Jan entered the fast growing market of digital health with the launch of Heartbeat Labs.
Besides his HitFox activities, Jan has made several angel investments in companies such as Delivery Hero, Brands4Friends and Clio and has also invested pre-IPO in Facebook and LinkedIn.
Eckhardt Weber’s focus is business development in highly regulated markets, where he builds and deploys deep vertical knowledge specifically. For HitFox’s financial technology platform FinLeap, he guided Solarisbank through the process of obtaining a full banking license – one of the first German internet start-ups to do so (and that within just nine months). The same applies to Element, which is about to obtain a full insurance license.
Eckhardt studied law at LMU Munich, after which he spent one year in South Africa completing a master’s degree in commercial law in 2012.
He then joined P+P Pöllath + Partners, a law council specialized in venture capital legislation. In October 2014, he moved over to HitFox Group, structuring the legal and finance team, working with Jan Becker on business development strategy and acting as managing director for the financial technology platform FinLeap.
While working at FinLeap, he also completed an EMBA degree at the University of Münster.
Daniel is an ardent technology expert, who, since graduating in computer science, has teamed up with several tech companies, guiding them into the age of digitization.
After working for BMW for several years during his studies, Daniel joined the team at its Engineering Center in 1998 where they developed the first generation of Virtual Reality solutions for the car corporation. These projects were initiated to shorten the car development cycle and to speed up testing of new car models and manufacturing processes in general.
In 2000, he joined AutoScout24. Under his tenure, the site’s tech teams were expanded and the IT continuously optimized to cope with the ever-increasing traffic, which grew from 1 million to 18 million unique users per month within a few years. His teams also developed white label software for companies like Allianz and Toyota.
Five years on, Daniel became the product and technology executive at Europe’s price comparison site Ciao. Under his guidance, the company perfected its automation level for price and product data, pulling the different purchasing and pricing options for tens of thousands of products off the internet, scaled its traffic sources and grew it up to the largest comparison site in Europe across 12 countries, while also expanding its offering to the US. The superior product and technology was a key component of the $486 million acquisition deal with Microsoft, which bought the company in 2008, becoming Daniel’s new employer. At Microsoft, he helped the Online Division to optimize its product search engine and won a Microsoft Research award for developing machine learning algorithms for the e-commerce engine in Bing Search.
In 2010, he joined the performance advertising company zanox (Awin), and was responsible for expanding its product and technology across 18 countries. In 2013, Daniel moved to zanox’s mother company, Axel Springer, as chief information officer. Within a short time, he built up internal product development tech teams that, for example, successfully launched digital payment solutions for Bild Plus and new digital content platforms like upday in cooperation with Samsung.
At HitFox, Daniel has acted as CPO for Solarisbank and is currently heading Matrixworks, which develops holographic and virtual reality solutions for industries such as real estate, automotive, manufacturing and retail.
Daniel holds an MSc in computer sciences from the University of Applied Science, Regensburg and an MBA from the University of Augsburg.
Hendrik Krawinkel’s specialty is operational and organizational excellence. He builds teams and defines workflow processes around finance, human resources and operations etc. In an industry as complex as healthcare or finance, this provides the crucial foundation upon which innovative business models can be developed and executed.
Hendrik studied management at HHL Leipzig while beginning his professional career with global technology companies such as IBM and Rolls-Royce. In 2011, when he was still enrolled in university, he joined Jan Beckers in founding HitFox, which they developed into a platform for advertising and big data technologies. He has since been the backbone of turning new business ideas into excellent company practice.
In 2014, Hendrik o-ounded FinLeap, HitFox Group’s company builder for financial technologies, which he co-led for three years. Apart from his focus on structural topics he has acted as managing director and project manager for many companies on the HitFox and FinLeap platform.
Tim is HitFox Group’s expert in mobile and in-app advertising. He has been one of the pioneers of the mobile advertising technology (adtech) industry globally and the driving force behind the international expansion of HitFox. More specifically, Tim has focused on the development of AppLift, which today acquires users for the apps of over 500 companies, including Twitter, King and Baidu. Tim has grown the big data capabilities of AppLift, which now analyzes the anonymized data of 80% of the world's smartphone population outside of China, distributing highly targeted advertising to over 50,000 media outlets. He has also managed the international expansion of the company beyond its headquarters in Berlin; HitFox Group currently has offices in Bangalore, Seoul, San Francisco, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta, Moscow, New York and São Paulo.
Tim is an entrepreneur at heart: After graduating with a master in business and economics in Leipzig in 2008, he decided against accepting a corporate job and instead co-founded the e-learning platform Lecturio. The online portal became Germany's leading provider of video-streaming of law, medicine, business and economics lectures for students preparing for exams.
Through the startup network in Berlin, Tim met Jan Beckers and together they co-founded HitFox in 2011 (and where he is managing director). Tim grew up across central and western Africa in Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Rwanda, where his parents worked in research and development aid.