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6 Copenhagen investors share their outlook on investing in 2021 – TechCrunch


While Denmark and Copenhagen don’t usually come up as a vacation spot for European startups, it has a thriving native tech scene that’s house to among the higher startup conferences. After all, who doesn’t wish to go to Copenhagen?

A extremely educated inhabitants, nice universities, glorious healthcare and nice transport hyperlinks to Europe make town pretty much as good a spot as any to start out up an organization.

Amongst our investors, we discovered the developments they have been most in included sustainable provide chain logistics, esports and gaming, enterprise SaaS, local weather tech, deep tech {hardware}, agritech and edtech. And many stated they’re in the way forward for work and the transition to alternative ways of working.

Companies they’re excited by included: Afresh Technologies, Seaborg Technologies (nuclear reactors), Labster (digital science labs), Normative.io (social and environmental influence measurement) and DEMI (connecting with cooks).

In basic, investors stated they’re centered on their house floor however are additionally spreading their wings to the “New Nordics” (Nordic and Baltic) area. Some are additionally investing in giant European and North American hub cities.

The “green shoots” of restoration they see are showing in something digital that comes with a neighborhood, in addition to amongst startups which are capable of leverage the pandemic to generate new enterprise fashions which are quicker than incumbents.


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We surveyed:


Sara Rywe, Principal, byFounders

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Software and tech (I’m personally further excited concerning the “future of work,” fintech, and “future of food”).

What’s your newest, most enjoyable funding?
Digitail (a veterinary software program supplier fixing the hole between the ever-growing expectations of millennial pet mother and father and the expertise provided by veterinarians with their present instruments).

Are there startups that you simply want you’ll see in the {industry} however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
I want to see extra founders with world ambitions in the “uniquely transformative” software program class (the identical manner Airbnb remodeled the lodge {industry} and Uber remodeled the taxi {industry}). Many startups we see at this time are constructing a characteristic as a substitute of a full answer and their imaginative and prescient is about making industries incrementally higher. So, right here’s a callout to all of you Nordic or Baltic visionary founders on the market: Write me!

What are you searching for in your subsequent funding, in basic?
We at all times search for competent, visionary and passionate founders constructing merchandise that folks love. As an industry-agnostic VC, we hold our eyes open for a spread of various alternatives.

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too onerous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
Some of the present developments that I see embody:
Fintech: wage advances, factoring, sustainability reporting and measurements.
Food tech: various protein, pet meals, meals waste.
Future of labor: digital places of work, collaboration, productiveness instruments.
If you resolve to enter any of the above-mentioned industries, I due to this fact encourage you to essentially be considerate in the way you differentiate your self and/or how your staff is healthier suited to execute on the mission.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) in basic? More than 50%? Less?
<50%. We make investments throughout the Nordics and Baltics and I’m masking Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear nicely positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are corporations you might be enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Denmark may be very nicely positioned to succeed in sustainability and power (many good abilities coming from e.g., Vestas and DTU), shopper items (there’s a big historical past in the nation round constructing manufacturers equivalent to Lego, Carlsberg, and so forth.), and biotech (Novo Nordisk amongst others taking part in an enormous half). Moreover, software program scaleups equivalent to Peakon, Pleo, and Templafy are actually main the way in which for a brand new era of tech startups to thrive in Denmark. When Danish founder significantly, I’m very excited to see corporations equivalent to Qvin revolutionizing healthcare for girls by utilizing interval blood as a chance for a noninvasive blood check.

How ought to investors in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
They needs to be very excited! Just have a look at what we’ve seen in 2021 up to now:
Exits: Peakon $700 million exit and Humio $400 million exit.
Large rounds: Public.com elevating $220 million, Vivino elevating $115 million and Labster elevating $60 million led by Andreessen Horowitz

Do you count on to see a surge in extra founders coming from geographies exterior main cities in the years to return, with startup hubs shedding individuals because of the pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
Somewhat. We already see quite a lot of innovation exterior of Copenhagen in cities equivalent to Aarhus and Odense.

Which {industry} segments that you simply make investments in look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
One {industry} that has been hit onerous by COVID-19 is after all journey and hospitality. The flipside of that is that we see quite a lot of innovation because of that. Examples from our personal portfolio embody:
AeroGuest — a platform that permits for a “touch-free” journey expertise (skipping traces and reception desks, direct online room reserving, and so forth.).
BobW — a brand new sort of sustainable journey lodging bringing the perfect of each worlds: “home meets hotel.”

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What is your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
COVID-19 has not impacted our funding technique massively and we’ve the identical focus as earlier than (investing in software program and tech). With that stated, we’re glad to see some industries getting an uplift in these tough instances, equivalent to sustainability and influence.
The largest worries of our portfolio firm founders have been round volatility and uncertainty. Since the primary lockdown our recommendation has been easy: You can’t management the end result. We’ve due to this fact labored collectively to make sure that they’ve some correct state of affairs planning in place and that we expect creatively of find out how to mitigate eventual destructive results on their enterprise.

Are you seeing “green shoots” relating to income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Tame — one among our portfolio corporations — expanded their occasion platform to additionally embody digital occasions, which made it actually take off in COVID instances.
Corti — one other portfolio firm of ours — might in lower than 4 weeks construct a product for serving to battle COVID-19 with synthetic intelligence.
Both of those corporations are good examples of how “adapting their products” because of the pandemic led to nice outcomes.

What is a second that has given you hope in the final month or so? This could be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
The sudden rise of consciousness round influence and ESG amongst VCs! Several nice conversations have been held on find out how to enhance our methods of working.

Who are key startup individuals you see creating success domestically, whether or not investors, founders and even different forms of startup ecosystems roles like legal professionals, designers, development specialists, and so forth. We’re making an attempt to spotlight the movers and shakers who outsiders may not know.
Some of the extraordinary founders that I look as much as from Denmark embody:
Jakob Jønck (Simple Feast), Andreas Cleve and Lars Maaløe (Corti), Sara Naseri and Søren Therkelsen (Qvin), Niels Martin Brochner, Jarek Owczarek and Viktor Heide (Contractbook), Jacob Hansen, Esben Friis-Jensen, Jakob Storm and Christian Hansen (Cobalt) amongst others.
There’s additionally a spread of nice investors in Denmark together with Helle Uth, Christel Piron, Alexander Viterbo-Horten and Anders Kjær amongst others at PreSeed Ventures and Daniel Nyvang Mariussen along with his staff at Bumble Ventures. Also, the Danish tech ecosystem wouldn’t be what it’s with out all of the work that Vækstfonden does.

Mads Hørlyck, affiliate, Maersk Growth

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Supply chain/logistics together with sustainable provide chains.

What’s your newest, most enjoyable funding?
Afresh Technologies.

Are there startups that you simply want you’ll see in the {industry} however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
In basic there are nonetheless loads of alternatives throughout numerous elements of the provision chain. We don’t have any specific particular preferences as such in the meanwhile.

What are you searching for in your subsequent funding, in basic?
Digital answer to drive efficiencies throughout a number of subparts of the provision chain, each upstream and downstream focus.

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too onerous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
Freight forwarding has been maturing in Europe and North America with a number of giant startups in each areas. However, the market continues to be giant however it requires a powerful new mannequin because it’s additionally low margins.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) in basic? More than 50%? Less?
Less/little focus on Denmark. Main precedence in giant European/North American hubs.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear nicely positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are corporations you might be enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Startups with the medical and supporting capabilities tech are doing nicely. We are enthusiastic about Onomondo in the Danish scene — additionally a portfolio firm of ours.

How ought to investors in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
As an upcoming alternative. Several tech hubs have been created and there’s a basic good atmosphere together with state-backed loans/pre-seed investments and pretty many angels to get going.

Do you count on to see a surge in extra founders coming from geographies exterior main cities in the years to return, with startup hubs shedding individuals because of the pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
We don’t count on any important adjustments to the founder-environment in Denmark (too little nation).

Which {industry} segments that you simply make investments in look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
We see an elevated focus on our funding space: Supply chain/logistics as individuals all through the pandemic have been way more uncovered to and dependent on versatile and dependable provide chains. All the way in which from provide resilience, provide chain visibility, success and to last-mile supply. Consumers have the facility to drive adjustments in provide chains.

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What is your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
Sales conversion charges lowering/pipelines drying out. Advice is, like everybody else, to attenuate value and prolong runway by getting as near profitability as mannequin permits. Based on this funding wants could be mentioned.

Are you seeing “green shoots” relating to income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Yes, we’ve seen some startups having the ability to leverage the pandemic over incumbents because of their extra versatile and digital construction.

What is a second that has given you hope in the final month or so? This could be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
We have but to see a default wave each globally inside our funding space but in addition in basic in Denmark.

Henrik Møller Kristensen, affiliate, Bumble Ventures

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Some of the developments we’re enthusiastic about are (1) the rising market of digital media and leisure, in specific esports and gaming, (2) enterprise SaaS, e.g., associated to the way forward for work, (3) local weather change options, e.g., deep tech {hardware} and software program, and (4) e-commerce companies, in specific digital native vertical manufacturers and direct-to-consumer instances.

Are there startups that you simply want you’ll see in the {industry} however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
Products and providers to fulfill the wants of the growing older inhabitants. The variety of aged individuals will likely be rising considerably over the subsequent a long time, establishing a rising marketplace for services and products to fulfill the wants from this demographic change and scale back the stress on societies.

What are you searching for in your subsequent funding, in basic?
We extremely worth staff and traction. We are searching for distinctive founders with robust competencies in engineering, product and business, ideally with years of expertise from the {industry} they’re coming into with a brand new answer. We desire some indication of product-market match. We like methodical income development pushed by paying clients, wealthy cohort grids and controllable funnels that proves a strong core enterprise. We don’t like merchandise which are nonetheless 2-3 years away from monetization. This means that we’ll miss the subsequent Facebook, however we’re okay with that.

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too onerous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
Traditional social media and apps that require thousands and thousands of customers earlier than having the ability to flip on the enterprise mannequin. SaaS advertising instruments additionally appear crowded.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) in basic? More than 50%? Less?
Next week we are going to announce our first funding exterior Denmark. This is our first step towards being current not solely in Denmark, however in the Nordics.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear nicely positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are corporations you might be enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Well-positioned industries in Denmark are medtech, fintech, gaming and clear tech. We’re enthusiastic about GamerzClass, Pie Systems, LeadFamly, Omnigame, Organic Basics, Cap desk, Roccamore, Too Good To Go, Pleo, Tradeshift, SYBO, Unity and extra. Exceptional founders are Victor Folmann from GamerzClass, Sunny Long from Pie Systems, Frederikke Antonie Schmidt from Roccamore and Christian Gabriel from Capdesk.

How ought to investors in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
Historically, there was a necessity for extra capital and expertise to maintain profitable growth-stage startups in Denmark and never have to maneuver to international nations to draw expertise and capital. However, the funding local weather is getting higher. Greater entry to capital and expertise go hand in hand, and what’s actually altering the funding local weather for the higher is founders of profitable Danish startups turning again to Denmark and reinvesting in the startup neighborhood.

Do you count on to see a surge in extra founders coming from geographies exterior main cities in the years to return, with startup hubs shedding individuals because of the pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
I believe we’ll see extra attraction to distant work in the long run. However, I imagine it will be important for startups to be near different nice like-minded startups, founders, advisors and investors, not solely just about however in actual life. Establishing an important community and private relationships are crucial elements to succeed and distant will not be suited very nicely for that in my opinion.

Which {industry} segments that you simply make investments in look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
The journey and hospitality {industry} look weaker and we’ll see a shift towards decrease demand because of distant work and sustainability points. On the opposite facet, gaming, e-commerce and digital services and products are rising as you’ll have extra individuals online behind the screens.

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What is your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
We are nonetheless glad to speculate regardless of COVID-19. Gaming has, for instance, been positively affected by COVID-19, nonetheless, many startups are additionally struggling because of COVID-19. The finest a startup can do is to handle the runway, have shut dialogue with their investors, lower prices and attempt to pivot to the adjustments. Look for alternatives, not boundaries.

Are you seeing “green shoots” relating to income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Not but. Only a number of of our portfolio corporations are negatively affected by COVID-19.

What is a second that has given you hope in the final month or so? This could be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
Investors are keen to make new investments and assist out struggling portfolio corporations. Founders are retaining their heads excessive and making the perfect out of the brand new circumstances. In some instances it truly stimulates new improvements.

Benjamin Ratz, companion, Nordic Makers

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Energy and the transition to a fossil gas society, information as governance and the altering position of training.

What’s your newest, most enjoyable funding?
Seaborg — constructing modular, small and secure nuclear reactors.
Labster — digital science labs that assist college students everywhere in the world immerse in science and STEM.

Are there startups that you simply want you’ll see in the {industry} however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
Improving the general public sector.

What are you searching for in your subsequent funding, in basic?
Views on how and if the world has completely modified in conduct because of the pandemic.

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too onerous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
Micromobility, teledocs.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) in basic? More than 50%? Less?
100%.

What are corporations you might be enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Willa. Corti.

How ought to investors in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
A whole lot of founders leaving success tales of the area.

Do you count on to see a surge in extra founders coming from geographies exterior main cities in the years to return?
No however we count on the cities to provide extra.

Mark Emil Hermansen, affiliate, Astanor

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Food and agrotech.

What’s your newest, most enjoyable funding?
DEMI.

Are there startups that you simply want you’ll see in the {industry} however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
I’d like to see extra meals tech corporations that “get food” — the human aspect of it that’s. Too many startups focus solely on the expertise, much less on the truth that it needs to be deeply human centered. This is so prevalent that I instinctively avoid startups dubbing themselves as “food tech” — meals will not be tech and tech will not be meals and therein lies the problem and the prize. Here’s a learn that sort of sums it up.

What are you searching for in your subsequent funding, in basic?
Anything that jogs my memory of those first traces from “On The Road”: “They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn …”.

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too onerous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
DNVB.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) in basic? More than 50%? Less?
25% native (DK continues to be immature from a startup standout — but the chance is that the VC footprint is small and comparatively unsophisticated).

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear nicely positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are corporations you might be enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Companies: Online communities equivalent to DEMI.
Founder: Erez Galonska of Infarm.

How ought to investors in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
Tons of alternative when you’ve got entry to the fitting deal circulate/pedigree.

Which {industry} segments that you simply make investments in look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
Communities that transcend digital (like Tonsser and DEMI).

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What is your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
Worries: Uncertainty and recruitment technique.
Advice: Survive and put together.

Are you seeing “green shoots” relating to income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Anything bodily that has retail footprint. Anything digital that has a neighborhood footprint.

What is a second that has given you hope in the final month or so? This could be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
That everybody’s pumped for what’s about to return (post-COVID) and the belief (or hope?) that nothing will likely be as earlier than.

Who are key startup individuals you see creating success domestically?
Kasper Ottesen, Highbridge (authorized).
Kasper Hulthin (entrepreneur and investor).
Christian Tang-Jespersen (investor).

Eric Lagier, managing companion, byFounders

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Future of labor, productiveness enchancment platforms.

What’s your newest, most enjoyable funding?
Normative.

Are there startups that you simply want you’ll see in the {industry} however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
Future of recruiting.

What are you searching for in your subsequent funding, in basic?
Passionate founders, fixing large issues to construct a greater tomorrow.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) in basic? More than 50%? Less?
We are centered on the New Nordics (Nordic and Baltic) area having proven the largest development potential in Europe.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear nicely positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are corporations you might be enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Climate tech, well being tech, fintech. Normative, Corti, Lucinity.

How ought to investors in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
Copenhagen is booming and there may be now a powerful basis of skilled founders constructing actually transformative corporations.

Do you count on to see a surge in extra founders coming from geographies exterior main cities in the years to return, with startup hubs shedding individuals because of the pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
No — however I count on to see way more various groups with a precedence on distant first.

Which {industry} segments that you simply make investments in look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
An acceleration of online, distant, e-commerce and basic quicker tempo of transactions.

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What is your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
COvid-19 is a big accelerator of future developments. Those founders which have tailored finest would be the winners of tomorrow.

Are you seeing “green shoots” relating to income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Absolutely.

What is a second that has given you hope in the final month or so? This could be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
How founders persevere in these instances of huge change.

Who are key startup individuals you see creating success domestically?
Jakob Jønck, founder, SimpleFeast; Kristian Rönn, founder, Normative; Andreas Cleve and Lars Maaløe, founders, Corti.

Source Link – techcrunch.com

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