It’s never too early if you want to be first. Think about all those entrepreneurs and founders who started their game-changing companies in their garage with nothing but a vision. Did they think it was “too early” to change the world?
With more startup launches than ever before, rapid development cycles and growth are critical at early stages. If you’re a tech startup at seed or pre-seed stage with a big idea, Project A will help you get a head start with capital and operational expertise.
You might have seen a lot of news lately around our portfolio companies, raising large financing rounds and scaling up to become successful companies, taking on the transformation of their respective industries. Clear proof that the European startup ecosystem is maturing.
But all these companies had to start somewhere: all scale-ups in our portfolio were early-stage when we initially invested. We want to be there from the start and invest at the earliest stages. That is why to us “too early” doesn’t exist.
“Early-stage investments from pre-seed to Series A have and will always be at the core of Project A.”— Uwe Horstmann
Nowadays, it is no secret that the fundraising landscape is changing every day with rounds being raised earlier and faster than ever before. A startup can move from pre-seed stage to Series B funding in under a year. Being first to market is more important than it has ever been before for founders. Having a VC provide capital and support in raising follow-on rounds is crucial, but not everything.
More than just capital
Funding is a small part of the journey, but execution will always be key to success. To provide our portfolio companies with a competitive edge, we don’t just invest but also support operationally with a team of more than 100 in-house experts in software engineering, product, design, brand, marketing, sales, business intelligence, recruiting, communications and organisation building.
Our operational involvement is tailored to the unique needs of each of our investments and founders. It can range from consulting and sparring on ideas to hands-on operational support until the organization is scaled. The support is of course fully optional – every portfolio decides whether they need it or not.
To put it into perspective: In 2020 alone, our recruitment team handled over 15.000 job applications for our portfolio companies and our IT team supported over 30 of our ventures in building and scaling their tech infrastructure.
From seed to growth: A look at early-stage investments past and present
Though it’s especially important for seed-phase startups, our operational involvement doesn’t stop with a Series A funding round. Throughout their whole startup journey, our ventures can count on us if they need strategic or operational support to overcome challenges or fuel growth.
We have recently invested in a number of seed-stage teams like the folks from Butter, who have built a platform for virtual workshops and the EdTech platform Knowunity whose founders were still in school when they developed what is now already one of the most used school apps in Germany. Also new in our portfolio are priceloop, which enable companies to make data-driven pricing decisions, and the data-savvy founders of Quix, a data streaming solution derived from their work in Formula 1 racing. Apart from our investment, we support each company with our operational teams to meet their individual needs.
What does this look like once a startup has grown into a large company? Here is an example: in 2016 we did a seed investment in the telemedicine startup Kry. In 2021, the Swedish company became a major player in the European digital health sector and is now valued at $2bn after their $300m Series D round. Have a look at how our marketing department helped Kry to set the foundation to scale global performance marketing.
What we look for in an early-stage investment
Long story short: We love (pre-)seed investments and are always keen on accompanying strong teams on their road to success with both capital as well as operational expertise. So what is it we are looking for in such early stages without many proof points?
Very simple: You believe you have a unique insight and understanding of a big problem in the world today? Across industries and business models — if you have the drive and skills it takes to solve this problem: we want to hear from you!
Project A can help you with seed investments and operational expertise
Project A is a pan-European sector-agnostic early-stage venture fund investing in industries such as Digital Health, Enterprise Software, Developer & Data Tools, FinTech, Education, Real Estate & Construction, e-Commerce, Media or Mobility. In general, we focus on investments into software-enabled businesses with outlier potential.
We initially invest $1M to $8M and reserve up to $30M for future rounds.
In the fast-paced early stages, a close relationship to our ventures is important to us. This encompasses a direct link to our partners as well as to our operational teams. If founders choose to, they can request support at any time and on any subject and tap into our services when needed.
So if you’re early with a big idea, let’s hit the ground running!