Follow the money and the bright minds: we asked the crème de la crème of the VC ecosystem which future trends they find particularly interesting and are investing in. And voilá – we present you with the most thrilling trends (and some surprising answers as well)
by Natascha Zeljko | 15 Jun, 2022
Anna Stella Fetha, Investor at Headline
“Headline is sector-agnostic. We simply look for the best builders out there! Personally, I am very excited about vertical B2B software, especially for small and medium businesses. SMBs account for 99% of all European companies and largely rely on Excel or pen & paper. It's an open market, with a no ‘winner takes all’ dynamic. I'm convinced we'll also see giant leaps around the future of work and learning.”
Headline (formerly e.ventures) is a Venture Capital firm actively on the ground in 7 cities around the world. It invests across geographies, leading rounds at every stage. Sonos, The RealReal, Creditas, Sorare, Pismo, AppFolio, goPuff, Acorns, Farfetch, Segment, Bumble, and Staffbase are among the stars in Headline’s world.
Dominik Matyka, Co-founder and Entrepreneurial Partner at Cavalry Ventures
“We invest sector-agnostically in early-stage software businesses across Europe. We look for founding teams and business models that initiate massive change within their industry, simplify processes, generate efficiencies, and, ultimately, transform and improve everyday life and work. These can be companies in sectors such as FinTech, Business Software, Healthtech, Climatetech, Business Intelligence, Proptech, Manufacturing & Industry 4.0, and many more.”
ABOUT Cavalry Ventures
Founded in 2015, Cavalry Ventures is a founder-centric early-stage venture capital firm in Berlin, Germany. Cavalry is sector-agnostic and invests in software businesses in pre-seed and seed-stages across Europe with €120m in assets under management across multiple funds.
“At DTCP, we are generalists and aim to partner with the best B2B SaaS entrepreneurs across verticals. Some of our focus areas include cybersecurity, cloud technologies, digital infrastructure, and enabling technologies. We are also expanding into further high potential categories such as fintech, web3.0 infrastructure, and supply chain technologies.”
DTCP is an autonomous investment management Group investing in Growth Equity. The firm has raised more than $1.0 billion from corporate and institutional investors and is active globally. We invest from $5 to $50 million in category leading B2B SaaS companies in Europe, Israel, the US, and South Korea. Our investment team has a local presence in each of those geographies to support our founders and connect them to the relevant ecosystems.
Gesa Miczaika, General Partner at Auxxo Female Catalyst Fund
"For the Auxxo Female Catalyst Fund, particularly exciting for us are any topics that deliver social or environmental value. This includes, for example, all carbon capturing technologies and SaaS models that solve big problems. Other areas we will be paying particular attention to are Web3, supply chain digitization, and solutions to the acute skills shortage. Sectors that will remain of interest to us include FinTech, Privatization, HealthTech, BioTech, and Cybersecurity."
ABOUT Auxxo Female Catalyst Fund
Building on more nearly 30 years combined investment & operational experience and three years of joint angel investing via Auxxo Beteiligungen, Dr. Gesa Miczaika and Bettine Schmitz launched the Auxxo Female Catalyst Fund. The vision of the fund is to drive equitable representation of women as founders and investors in venture capital.
Axel Nitsch, Principal in the Digital Tech Team of High-Tech Gründerfonds
“HTGF invests in start-ups in the areas of digital tech, industrial tech, life sciences, chemistry, and related business areas. We currently see the greatest potential in all topics that deal with sustainability. In addition, innovations continue to be driven by technical enablers such as Machine Learning/AI and Blockchain/DLT. The Corona crisis has also led to a significant drop in the barriers to entry for SaaS applications in companies. There is strong growth in the B2B sector here.”
About High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF)
HTGF is one of Europe's leading seed investors. With 17 years of venture capital experience, strong technology expertise, and our extensive industry network, we support founders in realizing their vision and shaping the digital world in a sustainable way.
“Far-reaching digitization, especially of healthcare and industry, and keyword Industry 4.0, are topics that must be addressed now. Cybersecurity is a special challenge for these areas, for which new technologies and concepts are needed. We have our finger on the pulse of digitalization and cybersecurity in Israel, the Silicon Wadi.”
GIIN, the German-Israeli Innovation Network is a company founded by Jenny Havemann, whose mission is to connect German companies with Israeli start-ups. We bridge cultural differences, open doors, and ensure a flow of ideas in both directions.
Marie-Helene Ametsreiter, General Partner, Industrial Tech at Speedinvest
“The future of industry is digital and green. Europe has entered a new industrial era driven by transformative technologies, new business models, and the common goal of decarbonization; Our Climate & Industry Opportunity fund is specifically designed to target start-ups that are building the innovative solutions needed to achieve this. We are interested to invest in founders who are fostering circularity and helping to reduce CO2 emissions along the chain of Manufacturing, Logistics, and Mobility. Additionally, with the broad electrification of the economy significantly increasing global power demands, we have and will continue to invest in Green Energy. We also observe a fast growth in Earth-facing SpaceTech solutions. From data generation and analysis to new ways of Connectivity and on-the-ground applications, this current "second space-race" will be highly relevant for both the industrial and broader economic world of tomorrow.”
Speedinvest is a leading early-stage venture capital firm with more than €600m AuM and 40 investors based in Berlin, London, Munich, Paris, and Vienna. Our dedicated sector-focused teams are the first to fund Europe's most innovative technology startups and our in-house operational experts are on-hand to offer founders ongoing support with growth, HR, US market expansion, and more. Wefox, Bitpanda, TIER Mobility, GoStudent, Curve, CoachHub, Schüttflix, TourRadar, Adverity, and Twaice are among our portfolio of 250+ companies.
Sebastian Böhmer, Founding Partner at First Momentum Ventures
“At First Momentum Ventures, we invest exclusively in B2B pre-seed companies with a strong technological edge. Rather than looking for mere business model innovations, we see the greatest potential in disruptive technology, which solves the most severe problems of our planet and society. Thus, endeavors like the exploration of advanced recyclable materials from one-five together with the vertical marketplace for recycled materials Cirplus, are projects that amaze us. Moreover, autonomous robotics enabling the manufacturing of tomorrow from Deadalus, and technology which enables the power of data-science in industrial applications are powerful and solve the right problems at the right time – for example, Lightly and Software Defined Automation. We would love to see even more innovators conquering the space of tech-stacks for life science.”
ABOUT First Momentum Ventures
First Momentum Ventures is the pioneer of pre-seed and tech in DACH, being the lighthouse for founders who disrupt the B2B-sphere. We are "engineers at heart, and investors by choice," building the missing piece in the capital-market. We understand Pre-Seed, embrace tech risk, and speak engineering language.
Bao-Y Van Cong, VC and Growth Investor at Target Global
“One of the most exciting trends I have seen emerge over the past couple of years is the realization and acceptance that lifelong learning will be critical to success in the future. This has to do with the work environment changing and the renewal rate of knowledge accelerating due to the increased speed of innovation. Expanding the borders of education beyond the traditional K-12 curriculum and providing new forums for upskilling and reskilling is something I am really excited about supporting. This led me to recently back Lepaya, a huge disruptor in this space. I am also very passionate about the creator economy, which has empowered so many digital entrepreneurs with avenues to showcase real creativity and ingenuity through new mediums. I am excited to back businesses like Elopage that make this possible.”
ABOUT Target Global
Target Global is a pan-European technology investment firm with more than €3.0 billion in assets under management. To date, Target has backed 11 unicorns, had 17 exits, and 7 realized IPOs. Headquartered in Berlin, Target has 8 offices around the world with investing offices across Berlin, London, Tel Aviv, and Barcelona, and is constantly expanding to new geographies.
"It's an exciting time in B2B SaaS in Europe with companies rapidly digitizing every part of the value chain, from procurement to logistics, operations, finance, etc. We're particularly drawn to businesses that replace inefficient offline workflows with an intuitive consumer-grade product that can be used by "non-IT" buyers. Recently we have done deals in spaces as varied as transforming insurance offerings for SMEs with Insify, empowering managers to better track OKRs within their businesses with Gtmhub, and enabling e-commerce companies with compliance with Taxdoo."
ABOUT Visionaries Club
Visionaries Club is a Berlin-based early-stage VC fund divided into two micro funds: a pre-seed stage fund and, a second, separate early growth fund. Visionaries Club unites a fantastic network of successful digital entrepreneurs, family businesses, and industry leaders in a venture capital fund to nurture the next generation of European B2B tech founders.
Jussof Breshna, Managing Director at Reimann Investors
“Reimann Investors mainly invests in three areas: Digital Commerce, FinTech, and SaaS. Our investment rationale is driven by underlying trends fueling the growth of these sectors: the convergence of industries and categories, the atomization of software solutions, and shifting consumer demands upending established markets.”
ABOUT Reimann Investors
Reimann Investors is the family office and corporate holding of members of the Reimann entrepreneurial family, who sold their shares in the family business in the late 1990s. We focus our investments on two areas: capital market investments and start-up investments in Digital Commerce, FinTech, and SaaS.
Roland Manger, Co-Founder and Partner at Earlybird
“Realizing that the best founders usually have a better sense of the opportunities in their respective markets than we could ever have, we are not focusing on particular topics or innovations but limit ourselves to the ones where we are capable of following the founders intellectually and financially. Hence, we try to find the best founders rather than believe in any specific space that might be hot at any given time. This has led us to invest in areas as diverse as Robotic Process Automation (see UiPath), Fintech (see Payhawk), and Space Technology (see Isar Aerospace).”
For 25 years, Earlybird has been investing in all development phases of technology companies, while providing strategic and network support, as well as further access to private and public capital markets. We have evolved to four autonomous and specialized teams under the Earlybird brand, focusing on different geographies and sectors: Western Europe, Eastern Europe (incl. Greece and Turkey), health, and innovation emerging from academic institutions.
Christian Jorg, Managing Partner at German Accelerator US
“At German Accelerator, we empower German start-ups to scale globally. We’re particularly excited about opportunities in the climate tech space and are looking to support start-ups tackling the imminent threat of climate change – we just had our first climate-focused track at the end of 2021. Another focus area of ours is the transformative area of artificial intelligence. AI will be a critical sector spanning various industries, opening tons of possibilities, and making leaps of progress, which is something that cannot be ignored.”
ABOUT German Accelerator
German Accelerator empowers German start-ups to scale globally. We take high-potential companies on a fast-paced learning journey to understand, discover, and access the world’s leading innovation hubs in the U.S. and Asia. Through highly customized programs, mentoring from dedicated experts, as well as access to our vast network of business partners and investors, we help start-ups from all stages and across various industries on their way to international success. Since launching in 2012, German Accelerator has nurtured over 500 start-ups which have raised more than $4.9 billion in funding so far. German Accelerator is run by German Entrepreneurship GmbH and is proudly financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).
“My model is to work with founders of companies within innovative technology and AI. In the coming years, we will see a lot of innovation in technologies that increase lifespan, help individuals stay healthy longer, and treat the root causes of aging processes before regenerative diseases occur – from special molecules that address various biological pathways, stem cell treatments, body scanning, artificial organs, IOT devices to monitor the body, peptides, hyperbaric treatment, and many more. Another innovative area is AI; AI solutions combined with various sensors, IOT devices, and computer vision to improve and digitize business processes in various environments from retail stores (seamless checkouts), the automotive industry, healthcare, and manufacturing (Industry 4.0) to smart cities and mobility.”
ABOUT Nir Manor
Nir Manor is an Israeli angel investor/advisor to start-ups within Retailtech, Fintech, and Biotech verticals. His strategy is to invest early stage pre-seed/seed, be involved in the business, and help companies reach Product-market-fit, get initial revenue, prove value, create use cases, fundraise, and help to scale via partnerships and various channels.
“We invest in early-stage (Seed/Series A) impact technology companies that enable conscious consumption and sustainable production. This ranges from B2C habit change applications and D2C products/consumables to alternative packaging, to decarbonization and circularity.”
ABOUT 4P CAPITAL
4P CAPITAL is a data-science powered impact venture capital fund. We invest in impact at core business models that show what we call lockstep (financial returns correlate with impact outcomes). Our geographic focus is in Europe. Our value-add is centered firstly around the application of best-in-class go-to-market practices and marketing techniques to foster scale and provide curated access to the teams we work with for the two largest impact markets – France and Germany.
"Our investment scope is broad and we focus on digital business models and technologies in sectors such as logistics, healthcare, fintech, proptech, and B2B software. We're massive believers in the future of Europe as an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Amazing companies can be founded anywhere by people of all different backgrounds. We thrive to build a venture fund that supports this development."
ABOUT Project A Ventures
Project A was founded in 2012 and since then has backed more than 100 start-ups in 12 countries. They are one of the leading venture capital firms in Europe based in Berlin and London, investing industry agnostic. In addition to 600M USD in assets under management, Project A supports its portfolio companies with a team of over 100 in-house experts in themes such as software and product development, business intelligence, brand, design, marketing, CRM, sales, venture development, and recruiting.