The lament over the bad follow-up financing situation for Austrian startups has become a habit. At the same time, there has been a steady increase in this area. In general, there is a clear upward trend in startup investments in Austria.
More funding of over 5 million euros
Eleven domestic startups managed to win five million euros or more from investors in 2018. In total, these eleven companies received about 145 million euros from the lenders. That’s more than the year before, when all 63 companies listed in the Startup Report Austria received € 133 million. 99 startups are listed in Startup Report Austria this year. In total, these collected around 236 million euros in investor funds.
More deals of all sizes
In total, we were able to use the Community 101 to find investments that were officially confirmed or in direct contact with the project team of Startup Report Austria. There were more deals in all categories than in the previous year. The number of deals between one and two million euros has risen again. These are considered particularly difficult because they are usually too big for business angels, but often too small for venture capital firms. This is where the aws Gründerfonds often jumps in and helps startups to reach the next level.
Austria’s startups are maturing
Although the number of deals across the bank is increasing, a look at the sums invested reveals an interesting trend:
The total amount of investments increased sharply from 2017 to 2018 at 63 percent; even in comparison with 2017 to 2016, a strong increase was recorded here. Investment rounds of more than € 2 million have, however, grown significantly faster than smaller financing rounds of less than € 2 million. Domestic startups have matured in recent years and can now successfully complete larger funding. The total of these large investments in 2018 increased by 66 percent over the previous year.
The persecutors of Vienna
In Carinthia, there were two big deals: bitmovin and Symvaro (each already represented in the startup reports of previous years). This made Carinthia 2018 the state with the second highest investment behind Vienna (highest investment: TourRadar). In terms of the number of deals, Styria finished second in 2018 Upper Austria. The investment totals of the two federal states are even more exciting: while in Styria millions of investments are booked – above all USound in the over five million euro category, followed by sendhybrid, Stirtec and eyeson – in Upper Austria this year, apart from Tractive and View Elevator, especially numerous smaller investments made. There is also a lot going on in Tyrol: in 2018, the federal state recorded the fourth most deals. Vorarlberg makes people sit up and take notice: fourth place in the investment totals – crate.io has been able to win an investment of over nine million euros there.
Finding investors is faster now
The average search for investors took about six months for domestic startups in 2018, as in the previous year. However, more founders managed to find sponsors in less than six months (which is generally considered a benchmark). At the same time, there are more founders looking for nine months or more (13 percent compared to 7 percent in the previous year). Both are indications that more money is available. Because, according to the thesis: Startups, which are a classic investment case for venture capital, find faster money because more supply is available. At the same time niche startups also find money, even if they have to search longer, because there are suitable investors for more and more different startups.
Many discussions on the way to funding
On average, the successful founders contacted 34 investors and met an average of 13 of them for face-to-face meetings before they could successfully complete their financing. However, the data also makes it clear that founders looking for an investor for the first time must contact and contact more investors until the successful completion of an investment than more experienced founders who can build on an existing network.
Also published on Medium.