September 26, 2019
VOX ANGELIS Summit: Early Stage Investors are the Foundation of the New World Economy
Venture capital industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. In 2018 more than 185 billion were invested worldwide. 17% of the 15,000,000 venture capital transactions are in the European region, including Russia, 38% in the North America and 45% in the Asia Pacific region. These investments allow technology entrepreneurs to grow companies, change entire industries and even the world.
Key early stage investors from more than 25 countries discussed technology trends and cross-border investments, investment cases and strategies for building successful portfolios, corporate and mature fund focus areas, key issues and challenges of early stage venture capital ecosystem development, and the international experience of developed and developing countries at the VOX ANGELIS 2019 International Early Stage Investor Summit on September 13-15. EBAN was a strategic partner of the event, while EBAN member International Investor Organization INVESTORO organized the Summit, which had WBAF as an international partner, VEB Ventures as a general partner and PwC Russia as a strategic partner.
“Early stage venture capital investments are no longer a local game. Investors are looking for new mutual opportunities in new markets. International exchange of experience in transactions, portfolio structures, cross-border investments, successful and unsuccessful exits, with a deep insight into the details – the main feature of VOX ANGELIS, where investors from 25 countries gather together. International investors invite each other to join their deal flow at the open exchange, share experience and knowledge “off the record” not only at the informal part of the Summit, but also in the framework of presentations and discussion panels. That’s why our summit is beloved by our participants,” said Vitaly Polekhin, President of the International Investor Organization INVESTORO, co-organizer of the Summit.
Every modern successful company once had a first investor who believed in a startup when there were no rational indicators or significant achievements. Where do international investors invest today at the early stages to show high returns tomorrow?
Within the VENTURE INSIGHTS track, world-class experts and investors paid special attention to such technological trends as AI, Blockchain, Fintech, Hardware, Biotech. They discussed models of funds and accelerators, investment strategies of corporate venture funds, introduction of technological start-ups to foreign markets, programs and measures to support business angels. According to Angelo Dalli, an expert on artificial intelligence, the global question is how artificial intelligence will affect society in general. When people learn to trust the judgments and decisions of AI, won’t such behavior become a habit or even a new social pattern? Blockchain is still one of the most promising technologies and attracts the attention of professional investors of all countries.
In today’s world, because of the de-globalization, the growing venture capital industry makes investors actively participate in cross-border transactions. Investors are seeking new opportunities in new markets, and startups are attracting foreign capital for development. The speakers of the GLOBAL EXCHANGE track also noted the importance of forming a balanced venture capital portfolio, cross-border investment transactions with professional and successful leading investors. According to Jacopo Losso, director of The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players (EBAN), which unites 197 European investor organizations, the Russian startup-ecosystem has grown very significantly over the 10 years of cooperation. This is due to active market participants who unite the community, are engaged in education, popularization, and invest around the world.
A separate session was devoted to the work of corporations with innovations and startups. The trend of creating corporate accelerators is gaining momentum, and corporations need to learn how to work in this market. So far, according to experts, not everybody is able to do it. Oleg Teplov, General Director of VEB Ventures and General Partner of the VOX ANGELIS 2019 Summit, summarized the session:
“Our corporations have to learn how to work with open innovations, and the entire ecosystem has to help them do so. The level of corporation maturity is important, as well as the kind of product it can take on: either the entire chain from accelerator to corporate venture fund and M&A, or focusing on the best solutions to look for growing startups in the market and support super teams that can fit into the system. Community should be open and comfortable for everyone, nobody makes innovations alone, it concerns not only startup entrepreneurs, but also foundations and corporations. Everyone should be in the ecosystem. If we are not greedy and are ready to share, there will be only more projects, they will be of better quality and the entire market will benefit from it.”
Baybars Altuntas, the Chairman of World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) presented VOX ANGELIS Summit with the Empowering regional early stage investments ecosystem Award. The collaboration agreement for early stage investments development between WBAF and VOX ANGELIS Summit and co-investment agreement with summit’s co-organizer – the International Investor Organization INVESTORO was signed during the special signing ceremony.
The business Summit program included 35 plenary sessions and discussion panels, as well as more than 10 sports and entertainment events. As part of the Summit, the VOX ANGELIS Early Stage Investment Awards were presented to those who have made a significant contribution to the development of early stage investment market:
- Business Angel of the Year – Sergey Dashkov, Business Angel
- Strategic investor of the Year – Alexey Milevsky, Mail.Ru Group
- Deal of the Year – Dostavista
- EXIT of the Year – SKILLAZ
- For contribution to the development of the early stage venture capital market – Eduard Fiaksel (President of the Starting Investments Association of Business Angels) and Gulnara Bikkulova
- International Early stage activities support – Peter E.Braun, Switzerland
- International Access to finance support – Andreas Mihalovits, German, Spain
- International Entrepreneurship support – Ramesh Haridas, UK, USA
- International Investment partnership support – Jacopo Losso, EBAN
“Investors from more than 25 countries participated in the VOX ANGELIS Summit. This is very important for us because the Vox Angelis Summit aims to develop a global early stage venture capital community. In the venture capital business, networking is almost the most important thing. In addition to the business program, we pay a great attention to creating conditions for informal communication and networking. This year we see a lot of new people at the summit – more than 100 foreign investors gathered together. Thanks to all this, the VOX ANGELIS Summit has become a recognized leading platform for meeting venture capital market participants of the early stages,” said Sergei Bogdanov, CEO of YellowRockets, co-organizer of the VOX ANGELIS Summit.
The organizers of VOX ANGELIS are the International Investor Organization INVESTORO and YellowRockets. General partner is VEB Ventures. The official partner is PwC.
About the International Investor Organization INVESTORO
INVESTORO is an international organization of investors that unites more than 200 private investors and funds from different countries. The organization’s investor portfolio includes more than 25 investments (more on companies here) in early stages in fast-growing companies around the world, together with leading foundations and organizations.
INVESTORO is a member of the European Association of Business Angels, Seed Funds and other early stage market participants (EBAN), a partner of the foreign venture fund True Global Ventures (focusing on investments in blockchain technology worldwide) and the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF).
INVESTORO President Vitaly Polekhin, shareholder/investor and member of the supervisory boards of Addventure, Venture Angels and True Global Ventures, president of the National Association of Individual Venture Investors (business angels), Board member EBAN, founder and member of the supervisory board of the SKOLKOVO Entrepreneurial Community, Head of the SKOLKOVO Investor Club, Member of the Venture Market Council at RVC, Member of the Expert Council of the Moscow Seed Fund, Member of the Investment Committee of the Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan.
YellowRockets is a company that develops a global startup community. The YellowRockets.vc venture fund invests in early-stage startups with a strong team and development potential. YellowRockets specializes in organizing acceleration programs for startups and cooperates with leading Russian and international venture capital funds, development institutions, business angel communities and corporations
About VEB Ventures
VEB.RF Group Company was established to support high-tech projects through the management of venture funds. Among the priorities of VEB Ventures are financing of promising companies with attraction of own funds, private and state funds, as well as assistance to Russian startups in entering international markets.