From Hacker to Financial Backer

By Joseph C. Panettieri  |  Posted 2001-03-12

Kim Schmitz isnt your typical venture capitalist. Before he was investing in dot-coms, Schmitz was a hacker, who allegedly broke into systems run by NASA, the Pentagon and Citibank.

These days, Schmitz is hoping for a dot-com rebound. His firm, Kimvestor A.G., is a privately owned operation in Frankfurt, Germany. The company is expected to pump $46 million into, a struggling e-tailer that hopes to be profitable by next year.

Kimvester hopes to go public within 18 months. The firms current investments include Monkey AG, MegaCar and TUV Data Protect. Monkey is a wireless network that transforms mobile phones into credit cards. MegaCar has developed a mobile broadband Internet solution that uses existing global positioning systems. And TUV is a security evaluation and certification company.

Where did Schmitz get all of his VC money? Before you look for a shady answer from his hacking days, heres the truth: Schmitz sold 80 percent of his data business to TUV Rheinland, now known as TUV Data Protect.

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