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Newsletter March 2016 | View online version
 
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b-to-v Newsletter March 2016
 
 
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Dear Readers,

Last month’s newsletter preface was about ”When business angels abuse their position and network”. This month, we would like to take a look at the other side of the table, i.e. at founders. And just like in February, we will try to point out some rather common misunderstandings that lead to frustrations of founders by private and institutional venture capital investors.
  • One relatively common misconception seems to be that every newly founded company is necessarily relevant for private or institutional venture capital investors. Unfortunately, this is not true.
    Not even in Berlin-Mitte. ;-) 
    Every professional private investor and venture capitalist in the market will tell you that the number of deals he or she makes per year is only about 1% (or less) of the deal-flow he actually receives. At b-to-v, we see more than 3’000 investment opportunities per year now. And on average, we add about 10-20 new companies to our portfolio in any given year. Surely, you can argue that we have to reject so many cases because we do not have sufficient funds or sufficient personnel to effectively manage these transactions. Yes, that is accurate. The truth however also is, that we could do more deals, but most deals do not fit our investment strategy, because they are not (or not yet) venture capital relevant. Therefore, please make sure when addressing us (or other investors in the market) that your company’s profile fits the investor’s investment strategy. And make no mistake: a rejection does not necessarily mean that you have a bad company or business concept.
     
  • This leads to the second point: How to deal with rejections of VCs or private investors. 
    Between you and us, dear founders: you can always tell the difference between a rookie investor and a pro investor because a professional start-up investor will always turn you down politely. 

    Why is that? Because all investors know that there is a very good chance that they are wrong in their assessment of your start-up. And we certainly do not want to see our rejection-email on facebook when you IPO your company. Sarcastic rejections in particular tend to make the rejecting investor look pretty stupid once you announce your trade sale for USD 1billion… ;-) 
    But no matter how friendly the rejection, many founders still take rejections personally. They either start tedious email discussions on why we misunderstood the concept entirely. Or they explain why we should never call ourselves risk-capital investors. Or they simply start yelling at us (virtually, thank God).
    But please ask yourselves: could it also be that your concept is not convincing? Could it be that this investor who sent you a rejection has in fact a very valid point in his feedback? Sometimes, a reconsideration of feedback 48 hours after the meeting might look less unfriendly and may even save you and your team from making mistakes or spending years on an idea that will not fly. 
    Again, we like self-confident entrepreneurs. And we know that we are wrong most of the time. Yes, yes, yes. And there are certainly numerous cases where the stubbornness of founders ultimately did paid off. 
     
  • We also find that some founders are somewhat surprised when they are actually invited to present their company to investors. In many cases, it becomes obvious that they have not looked at the investor’s portfolio, or exits once. Often, we feel that they did not do any research on why an institution or person could be suitable investors for their companies. Not even when they get invited to present. 
    Do not get this wrong: we certainly do not expect you to memorize the hobbies and ice-cream preferences of investors or investment managers. But if you are dealing with venture capital firms or private investors that have, for the most part, been around for quite some time and done numerous deals - - would you not believe that these guys may have something valuable to tell you or give you besides money? We strongly recommend you to challenge the investors that you pitch to. Be selective.
     
  • We often come across teams who seem to believe that investor relations (IR) is a one-off event. You pitch, you get the signature, you get the check, and then it is “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am.”
    Unfortunately, in most cases, it is more complicated. A VC investment is more a process than a deal. More importantly: IR is a two way street. If you want investors backing you in further rounds you have to build up trust. You can do this either with excellent performance and / or with communication on why your plans do not work and then explain what your plan b is. On a side note: best performing start-ups report their status on the first day of the new month. If we do not hear from the company for a long time, we know the likelihood that the next report will be negative to be very high.
 
Again, like last month, these aforementioned points only reflect our observations. Obviously, they are not true of all founders out there in the market. But we did not make these examples up, either.
We hope you had fun reading this preface – and the newsletter below is even more interesting.
 
Alexander & Florian
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Deals Done
Check out the latest investments b-to-v has closed.
 
 
 
 
 
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b-to-v portfolio company data Artisans closes EUR 5.5mio financing round
 
We are happy to announce that b-to-v portfolio company data Artisans, founded by the original creators of Apache Flink, announced its Series A funding of EUR 5.5mio for its high performance, low-latency data stream processing Solutions this week. After b-to-v seeded the company in mid-2014, the current financing round was led by Intel Capital with participation of Tengelmann Ventures and b-to-v. The new funding will be used to build better support for users of Apache Flink, and further develop analytics products based Open Source scalable stream data processing framework. For more information visit the link at the button below. 
 
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News
Check out the latest news about b-to-v and its portfolio companies.
 
 
 
 
 

 

Codecheck AG enjoys some TV airtime
 
b-to-v portfolio company, Codecheck AG, was recently featured on Hessischer Rundfunk television. Today's consumers are becoming increasingly aware of coloring, flavoring and conservation additives in their food and cosmetics products. Codecheck allows users to conveniently scan the barcode of a given product to find out what exactly is inside. In addition to HR television feature on food (demonstration of app begins around 12:45), Das Erste recommended Codecheck (at 6:45) for identifying, among others, Parabene in cosmetics. For a more reasoned picture of the landscape, we invite you to read this Die Zeit article.
 
 
 
 
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b-to-v portfolio company eperi GmbH – c’t features security solution extensively

 

In issue 4/16 c‘t , Germany’s most important IT magazine, featured an in-depth article about eperi GmbH’s  eperi Gateway. The four-page piece explains both functionality and use cases of this security solution. The eperi Gateway enables customers to encrypt confidential or personal corporate data before it leaves the company to be processed in the Cloud or databases. It allows companies to minimize the risks of a cloud environment while enabling them to meet even the strictest of data protection requirements. To see the full article, please have a look at the button below.

 
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b-to-v portfolio company EFFECT Photonics B.V. launches “System-on-Chip” product family

 
It has taken 5 years of hard work to bring the technology targeting demand for affordable bandwidth between Data Centres and mobile cell towers to market-readiness. EFFECT Photonics B.V. has managed to integrate all the active and passive components of a Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) system within a single chip and without the traditional gold packaging. The development is able to increase port density by 6x while lowering operational expenses by 40% when compared to existing approaches. To read the article in its entirety, please click the button below.
 
 
 
 
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Movu AG: expands westward & acquires Moovaa App
 
b-to-v portfolio company - MOVU AG - Switzerland's largest online moving and cleaning services marketplace, has taken an important step in fulfilling its offering in the Romandie. In preparation of this milestone, the company conducted an extensive search for new partners and organized training sessions to guarantee its high quality service expectations. Starting today, users will be able to compare and book moving and cleaning offers throughout French-speaking Switzerland. For the full press release, click the link here.

b-to-v portfolio company MOVU AG has expanded its technological leadership in the moving space through the acquisition of the Moovaa. The app renders time-consuming inventory visits by moving professionals unnecessary by enabling a user to film his apartment via smartphone. This action will streamline MOVU's services to clients by offering an intuitive and simple way to communicate and categorize inventory. For access to the full press release, please have a look here.
 
 
 
 
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FRHI Hotels & Resorts wins the 2015 Ragan's Employee Communications Award
 
Thanks to b-to-v portfolio company beekeeper's mobile communication solutions, FRHI has been connecting over 40'000 employees in 125 hotels in 35 countries over the last two years. FRHI managed to edge out other notable contenders including PayPal, Nielsen and Duke Energy to win this year's Ragan's Employee Communications Award for Best Employee Engagement. beekeeper created FRHI Talk, as a central communications hub allowing employees to interact with each other on a daily basis. To find out more about the award or the way in which beekeeper played an integral role in securing it, check out the press release below.
 
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High-Profile Visit for BigRep GmbH
 
At the CeBIT Conference last month, b-to-v portfolio company, BigRep GmbH caught the eye of both German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and Swiss President, Johann Schneider-Ammann. CEO Rene Gurka was excited to greet with the guests to discuss the potential that 3D printing has going forward. For the full press release, please click the link below.
 
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For Investors
The following information is for private start-up investors.
 
 
 
 
 

 

European Angels Fund
 
The European Angels Fund (EAF) is an initiative advised by the European Investment Fund which provides equity to experienced Business Angels and other non-institutional investors for the financing of innovative companies in the form of co-investments. The EAF works hand in hand with Business Angels and helps them to increase their investment capacity by co-investing into innovative companies in the seed, early or growth stage. Instead of granting co-investments on a deal-by-deal basis, the European Angels Fund enters long-term contractual relationships with successful Business Angels. All investment decisions will be taken by the Business Angels and their investments will be matched on a pari-passu basis, i.e. by the same amount by the EAF for an aggregate volume of up to EUR 5mio. The EAF does not pay a management fee to the Business Angel but provides a carried interest and shares investment related costs. By end of 2015 the EAF has already committed more than EUR 75mio to Business Angels and co-invested c. EUR 14mio in more than 100  co-investments. More information please contact Mr. Serge Rollinger.
 
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Jobs
Check out the latest job opportunities that b-to-v and its network have to offer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
b-to-v portfolio companies are looking for some talents:

BUX BV:
 
Mrs. / Mrs. BUX Germany (f/m): You will be key in making BUX a success in Germany and Austria. Your main role is to help us putting BUX on the map and grow our business in the region with the ultimate goal to make BUX the casual trading app in Germany and Austria.
For more information, please contact Nick Bortot, CEO.
 
Software Developer (f/m): You will take part in the further development of AYOXXA's LUNARIS™ software platform and extend the set of existing statistical tools, visualizations and reporting elements. Based on customer feedback you will design and implement modular extensions to the platform. By integrating the different tools with a database backend, a future goal is to enable teams of researchers to share and aggregate information to gain new insights into proteome research.
If you are interested, please apply here.
 
Salesforce Developer (f/m): Blacklane is seeking a fulltime Senior Salesforce Developer to strengthen our Salesforce team based in Berlin, Germany.
Please apply through this contact form.
 
Region Head Benelux (f/m): Your responsibilities:  Driving the business development of COMATCH in the whole BeNeLux area, acquisition of new clients via all available B2B sales channels, customer care and development of existing customers, setup of sales cooperations with strong partners in the area, building of a high performing team and management of service partners.
For more information please contact Mr. Christoph Hardt.
 
Sales Director South (f/m): Studitemps has grown to now 18 locations and is looking for a Sales Director to strengthen sales and guiding of the 7 locations in southern Germany.
If you are interested please apply to Michael Derieth.
Software engineer (Ruby) (f/m): Studitemps is looking for the experienced software engineer, preferably with the Ruby on Rails background.
If you are interested please apply to Carsten Bokemeyer.
 
CTO (f/m): Given OUTFITTERY’s product offering, technology has played a huge role in the company’s success to date, and will become even more integral as the business reaches new heights in terms of scale and international growth. As such, the founders and management team have decided to bring in a CTO who can bring new experience to the executive team and help the business achieve its ambitious targets over the coming years.
Please send your application via email.
Head of Human Resources (f/m): In this position you'll be leading a very commited team of 4 and will proactively shape the company from HR side.
Apply online via this link.
(Senior) UX Expert (f/m): In this role you will be responsible for the user experience along the whole process. A big part of this is the website. You’ll be deeply involved in defining and executing on features which will help us to improve constantly. You’ll contribute to the product vision, translate the vision into detailed user stories, and work closely with our IT Team to bring this to life.
Apply online via this link.
Senior Product Manager - Mobile (f/m): OUTFITTERY is Europe’s biggest Personal Shopping Service and we have a clear mission: We build the future of menswear shopping. Our goal is to make men happy! We are looking for an amazing Mobile Product Manager who helps us achieving this goal.
Apply online via this link.
Senior Product Designer (f/m): You want to have a lot of freedom and deep insights, as well as personal responsibility? You want to get to know various personalities in a great, international team? Then become part of our team as a Senior Product Designer (f/m) and support our company on the way to even greater success.
Apply online via this link.
Senior Java / Groovy Engineer (f/m): You want to have a lot of freedom and deep insights, as well as personal responsibility? You want to get to know various personalities in a great, international team? So, you’re a Senior Java or Groovy Engineer? That’s awesome, we have work for you in our fast growing mens fashion start-up.
Apply online via this link.
 
Marketing - Customer Experience Manager (f/m): ZipJet is looking for a Customer Experience Manager (f/m) to take over all of our CRM activities in a leading role – with drive, spirit and motivation. The position is based in Berlin and offers a lot of responsibility from day one. 
Do not hesitate any longer and apply here.
Engineering - Java Backend Developer (f/m): To have further support for our developing team, we are looking for an experienced Java Backend Developer, who can join our team here in Berlin as soon as possible. We are looking for someone who is eager to join a young company and motivated to build something great together with us.
Further information can be found here.
 
 
 
Investment Manager (Internet & Mobile Tech Fund) in Berlin or St. Gallen
 
The b-to-v Internet & Mobile Technologies fund team is looking for an Investment Manager. The b-to-v Internet & Mobile Technologies Fund with a size of EUR 75mio has a focus on start-up companies developing internet related businesses in DACH. Our team operates out of Berlin and St.Gallen and we are looking for a candidate who preferably has gained experience in personal and/or professional investment management in the digital sector. Alternatively we also like to partner with entrepreneurs who either succeeded or failed in their business, have learnt about "the other side of the fence" and are willing to make a difference the next decades to come.
 
The candidate may have a business or technical background and must share our passion for start-up companies. Further information can be found here.
 
In case you should be interested, please send your CV together with no more than three sentences each about (1) your motivation to work in venture capital and for b-to-v specifically, as well as (2) why you think that you are the right candidate for this position to Elena Dober.
 
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Jobs in the b-to-v network (neither portfolio company nor at b-to-v)
 
C-level candidate for growth companies in Switzerland
Benno Burkhardt is a serial entrepreneur and an experienced senior executive who worked for over 25 years in the IT and Digital Business, e.g. as CIO of Scout24, CCO of Ringier Digital and CEO of gate24.ch, Publicitas Switzerland and Comparis.ch AG. Not only he understands digital strategy, digital business and product development in-depth, he managed large sales organizations and knows therefore everything about direct sales, what makes his know how profile pretty unique.
contact: Benno Burkhardt via email.
 
Excellent candidates for HR and Marketing, graduated in psychology, looking for the new challenge within a successful start-up company
Ms. Sindy Lohberg, please get in contact via email.
Ms. Sutha Meyappan, please get in contact via email.
Or contact Ms. Elena Dober for further information.
 
Excellent candidate graduated in chemistry, looking for a new challenge within innovated start-up companies
Mr. Michael Roos, graduated in chemistry at Technical University of Munich, chosed the fields like medicine, nano-processes and electrochemistry for his specialization. He is looking for a challenge in connection with new technologies and innovative branches like technology reviews.
Please contact Michael Roos via email.
Or contact Ms. Elena Dober for further information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Events
Check out the next b-to-v events and events in b-to-v's network.
b-to-v events are exclusively reserved for b-to-v Investors.
Interested in a b-to-v membership? Please contact Alexander Stoeckel
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b-to-v Investors’ Meeting in Düsseldorf
 
On April 13, 2016, b-to-v Members and selected guests will meet in Düsseldorf for the second b-to-v Investors' Meeting in Düsseldorf. Similar to other b-to-v Investors' Meetings, the event will feature 2-4 live presentations of start-ups which are in the process of raising capital for their business. Moreover, there will be time for networking and discussions amongst participants. For private investors who are not yet familiar with b-to-v, the event is a good opportunity to get to know our organization as well as our members a little better.

Interested b-to-v Members and guests are kindly invited to contact Benita Xheladini for further information.
 
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b-to-v Advanced Technologies Portfolio Day
 

The 1st b-to-v Advanced Technologies Portfolio Day is hosted on April 21st in Munich in cooperation with TechFounders.

The event will feature live presentations of up to ten selected companies from the portfolios of b-to-v and TechFounders.

Advanced Technologies play a transformative role in numerous industries such as manufacturing, energy and healthcare. The very fabric of European competitiveness, its environment and economic prosperity is deeply rooted in these innovations. Investing in such groundbreaking technologies, e.g. robotics, 3D printing, smart products, predictive analytics, medical technologies, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, etc. is crucial to maintain relevance today. European competitiveness in Advanced Technologies shows a mixed picture; advanced manufacturing technologies such as sensors and materials have enjoyed relative success while medical devices, robotics and micro-electronics trail behind. At b-to-v, we see high potential in focusing our Advanced Technology investment activities on three areas: medical technologies, smart industries and enterprise software. In the past, we have built a strong portfolio of companies in those sectors.


Please contact Benita Xheladini from the b-to-v team for more information on the event.

 
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b-to-v Investors’ Meeting in Frankfurt am Main
 

On May 12, 2016, b-to-v Members and selected guests will meet for the b-to-v Investors' Meeting in Frankfurt am Main. The event will be hosted in close cooperation with Schiedermair Rechtsanwälte, one of Germany's leading independent commercial law firms.

The program will mimic our traditional Investors' Meetings in other locations, featuring 2-4 live startup presentations and ample opportunity for networking. We are pleased to announce a special feature of this years meeting in Frankfurt,  an interactive panel discussion at the beginning of the program centered on "Founders' Expectations and Disappointments around Investor Communication." For private investors who are not yet familiar with b-to-v, this event is a good opportunity to get to know our organization as well as our members a little better.

Interested b-to-v Members and guests are kindly invited to contact Nadja Bulgheroni for further information.

 
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If you know a strong team of entrepreneurs who would like to receive capital for the dynamic future of their company, please forward this newsletter to them.
 
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