Oliver Holle, CEO of the Vienna VC Speedinvest, announces at a press conference on the upcoming fund Speedinvest that there will be fund raising for startups. Which will be the largest seed fund in Europe, if they manage to raise that.
With a target size of 175 million euros, the venture capitalist wants to take a non typical approach to VCs and cheer on the European startup scene where money is needed first just in the early stages. Where investors grab between ten and 20 percent of a startup and invest between 500,000 and one million euros.
Holle stated, they set a counterpoint which is in the seed phase. And they know how they can help the startups. The team of 70 people who now work at Speedinvest will spend many appointments with institutional investors in Europe, Asia and USA in the coming weeks and months. Because even in 2019, the 175 million euros are in the pot. They planned to provide 65 million euros for initial investment rounds, 110 million are intended for follow up financing with other VCs.
Magnet for Austria
“If we succeed, that is an exclamation point for Austria. There is no such thing in Berlin and London. If Vienna wants to play, then it will only succeed if we bring the best heads, “says Holle. This would make the location more attractive and place Vienna and Austria better on the European innovation map.
Speedinvest wants to collect money with pension funds, family offices or funds with public funds such as AWS venture capital initiative. According to Holle, the chances of collecting this considerable sum are good. Speedinvest have been able to develop a name in recent years with the first two funds. Speedinvest I with 10 and II with 91 million euros. Speedinvest I would have brought the investors to the current state 2.7 times. Anyone who would have invested 100,000 euros in the fund in 2011, i.e 2011, would now have 270,000 euros before paying taxes. For the 90 million fund Speedinvest II invested in Tier Mobility, adverity, wefox, FinCompare. There are still no performance figures which are expected in two years.
With Speedinvest III, private investors with 500,000 euros can be there. If you invest, then should not hope for the quick money. “An investor must expect that the first payouts will come after three to five years,” said Holle.
Europe has more developers, less capital
Speedinvest intends to invest 175 million euros in the DACH region, CEE and Western Europe. The widespread myth that Europe lags far behind the United States and China for example in Artificial Intelligence gives Holle a rebuff. “In Europe, there are more developers, more PhDs than in the US, but much less capital,” says Holle. So, he wants to jump into the breach. Also stated that, “Investors from the US and Asia comes to Europe. We have the advantage of working in environment, “says Holle.
“In the meantime, Brexit is having a greater impact on Speedinvest’s business than the international weather conditions. In London, the Viennese employ around ten people. Currently, it is extremely difficult to gain new talents on the ground, and willingness to invest is currently foam reduced,” says Holle.
From data privacy to blockchain
For the startup investments, Speedinvest wants to focus on cross cutting issues, i.e technologies that can be used in several verticals. Such as Blockchain, Machine Learning, Data Privacy, Security or Industry 4.0.
In terms of performance, Speedinvest is now on a par with the top 25 percent of US funds. The portfolio of the current fund Speedinvest II would still sleep a few pearls. According to Holle, adverity or wefox could be very big. But he also has to expect failures. “At Speedinvest I, 2 out of 20 startups failed,” says Holle. On average, 20% to 30% of the portfolio would be lost to startup funds.