Carsten Coesfeld, CEO of Bertelsmann Investments, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

Carsten Coesfeld took over as CEO of Bertelsmann Investments, the venturing arm of the German media, education and services group, in June 2022. It is one of the world’s most active corporate investment groups. To date, Bertelsmann Investments has invested around €1.9bn in more than 500 startups and funds.

The company has 367 active holdings worldwide. This includes 70 investments in AI-focused companies, such as video platform Papercup, London-based healthcare company Phare Health and AI tool provider TensorArt.

The venture capital arm includes the funds Bertelsmann Asia Investments, Bertelsmann India Investments and US-based Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, as well as selected funds and direct holdings in markets including Europe, the US, Brazil, Southeast Asia and Africa.

Since taking over as CEO, Coesfeld has set up the Bertelsmann Next growth unit, which invests in new growth sectors such as digital health, pharma tech, HR tech and mobile adtech, including through full acquisitions. Bertelsmann Next recently bought Munich-based company Extedo, which helps pharmaceutical companies comply with regulatory requirements, with plans to turn the business into a key part of a growing pharma tech unit.

Coesfeld has built up a number of investments in the digital health segment, including backing startup Doccla, the virtual healthcare service; QuantHealth, an AI-based clinical trial simulator; Patient 21, which makes decision making software for doctors; and Paytient, which offers US patients an alternative way to pay for healthcare costs. It has also formed partnerships with VC investors General Catalyst and Pitango to invest in healthcare.

Coesfeld has had a more than 13-year career at Bertelsmann. Since January 2024 he is member of the Bertelsmann executive board.

Powerlist cover

The Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist represents the 100
individuals spearheading the future of the corporate venturing industry.

These individuals excel in terms of their venturing approach and structure, number and quality of portfolio companies and in their contributions to the corporate venturing profession.

See the full 2024 Powerlist here.