Thomas Borchers, investment principal, Deutsche Bank, is one of our top 50 Rising Stars in corporate venturing for 2024.

Being able to drive innovation by venture investments at a large financial institution like Deutsche Bank is one of the highlights for Thomas Borchers, an investment principal at the bank’s central corporate venture capital unit.

Borchers is part of a global team who invest strategically in mainly early-stage enterprise technology startups, seed, series-A, and series-B investments as an entry point. The unit’s investment themes encompass cybersecurity, data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, end user computing, digital assets, process digitisation, regulatory technology, future of work and climate technology.

Borchers started his career at a Dutch scale-up Backbase, an enterprise technology software provider for omni-channel digital banking. He was involved in many areas of the business, including strategic fintech partnerships, pricing, product marketing and analyst relationships, giving him a broad overview of scaling a business. Then, wanting to have more ownership while staying involved in strategic decision-making of fast-growing companies, he moved to a Dutch government-backed venture capital fund, InnovationQuarter, where he became an investment manager. This quickly gave him end-to-end experience in a variety of strategic venture capital investments, mainly in the digital and cybersecurity domain.

Borchers moved to Deutsche Bank in February 2023 to do more international dealmaking. He likes the bigger impact he can have by being a catalyst for innovation in a global financial institution. A challenge is trying to solve the “puzzle” in finding out how specific investment opportunities can fit into the overall strategy of the bank.

Building upon close contact with founders, venture capital funds and key executives in the bank, has been critical for successful investments, says Borchers. This includes working from the bottom up, too, building relationships with the people who would use the technology daily. “Our focus is to make strategic investments to drive the transformation of the banking industry,” says Borchers.  

See the full list of GCV Rising Stars for 2024 here.