Frequently asked questions
At what stages do you invest? What ticket sizes do you invest?
- We usually invest a first ticket of anywhere between 100k and 1 mil. EUR, with the possibility of following on in future rounds. That means our focus is generally in the early stages, ranging from pre-seed to early Series A – depending on the start-up, industry, country or the market. We’re your partner for the early days – figuring out product-market fit; finding your first clients or the early stage of scaling your business.
- We prefer to have significant positions in any round that we invest in, as our approach is based around getting involved heavily post-investment. We gravitate towards leading rounds or being the second largest investor – only rarely do we invest as a small part of a large round. As a consequence, the typical rounds th at we invest in are smaller than 5 mil. EUR in size.
- For founders that are not ready – or willing – to take a typical institutional VC investment, we run the studio track, ran by our partner Tomáš. In our venture studio, we work side by side with entrepreneurs who are anywhere between a very rough idea for a business and a company with a finished product and customers. We’re not an accelerator, a structured programme or anything of the sort – we’re a partner that works with you 1-on-1 to get you and your start-up off the ground.
What industries do you invest in?
Our focus is on the logistics, e-commerce and fintech industries; with a preference for B2B or B2B2C business models. We’ve built companies in these spaces ourselves before becoming investors and we’d rather have narrow, but deep industry knowledge and networks that we can offer up to you. Our conviction comes from knowing the problem inside out and we never outsource that – if we’ve ever invested outside of our three key industries, it’s always been because of a unique insight or experience, never because a deal or a sector was hot – or because someone else was in on the deal.
How many companies do you invest in per year?
We’re happy to back a handful of companies – two, three or maybe four – a year – and focus all our energy on helping them succeed . However, we’re investing our own capital and as such, we have no institutional limits on what we can do and we never pass up an opportunity to talk about a great company just because we’ve filled our quota for the year.
Based on what criteria do you select the companies you invest in?
- The initial assessment is based on whether your project fits our strategy – being in one of our core industries; located in Europe, preferrably CEE and fitting into our investment size. Ideally, this is the information we can exchange even before the first meeting!
- Our decision making process centers around evaluating four key areas:
- Problem definition – we look for massive, painful problems – and a team that understands them well. We prefer problems that are top of mind for your potential customers – and solutions that are thus painkillers, rather than vitamins. We love problems with poor existing solutions – low NPS, large numbers of excluded customers, negative externalities, etc.
- Your solution – We look for solutions that are innovative and unique, thus making them generally hard to replicate. We’re obssessed with competitive advantages and their sources – and so should you!
- You & your team – The teams that we back are usually the absolute best ones for the job – having a deep experience with the problem that they’re solving, working well together and covering all key risks and competences needed for the first months and years of the project. However, personal fit also matters – we’re sure you’d prefer to work with people you enjoy spending time with and have a great time – and so do we! That’s why you get to meet our partners – and especially the one who could end up leading your deal and spending years with you and your project – right away at the start of the process.
- Financials – In general, we’re looking for companies with strong unit economics (preferrably ones improving with scale!) that are capital efficient and can grow aggressively. Obviously, each start-up is at a different stage of getting there – you maybe only have a business plan – or you could have up to a few years of historical results. Either way, we’re going to go over them and discuss the key drivers of your business. Honestly, we love this part – not because we expect the business plans to actually materialise (they never do!), but because we get to learn and observe how you think about the future of your business and what will it take to get there!
What is your investment process?
- First meeting
- You will talk directly to one of our partnersfrom the very beginning – and he will lead the whole process personally.
- Honesty is one of our key values – we‘ll ask the tough questions and give you honest feedback right away – whether we‘re very excited or not investing.
- Deep Dive
- The lead partner will get into a deep discussion about your business with you – the product, business model and, of course, the team.
- With Mario, our tech-focused partner, we‘ll take a look at your technology and tech team.
- Partners‘ meeting
- The final step of our decision-making process – after the few initial meetings – is your presentation to all of our partners at the partners‘ meeting.
- We‘re all investing our own money – you‘ll get a yes or a no immediately and with no corporate „surprises“.
- Term Sheet
- If it‘s a yes, we‘ll put a simple and transparent term sheet on the table.
- We aim to make the final standard steps – the due diligence and final docs – as simple as possible. We value the founders‘ time – and believe it should be spentbuilding the business.