A Networked VC is a Business Angel’s Best Friend

Since you’re a business angel, you already know why you’re investing in startups. You know where your strengths are in terms of expertise and what you can bring to the table to help companies grow. But you probably also have already experienced some of the typical challenges that business angels face.

First of all, time is scarce. Proper due diligence will cost you many hours. Sourcing and screening for interesting targets quickly add up in terms of work, too, and if you’re not only following but leading financing rounds, you find yourself with enough work for a full-time job soon. Even when you band together with other angels that know what they do, your bandwidth to process information as a group will still be limited.

Second, your geographic and thematic horizon is not endless. You might have a good or even expert understanding of B2B SaaS, medtech, or quantum computing hardware, but most probably not in all of them simultaneously. It is quite reasonable to focus on what you’re already good at. Furthermore, it is obvious that you mainly invest in your home city or country. And why on earth should business angels try to invest in faraway places where they don’t have a strong network? There is more than enough to do at home.

Third, you are confined in terms of stage. Early-stage is where you have access and can add value. It can be argued that early-stage investing is most exciting. But maybe you have thought about investing in a more mature startup because you really like their unique position, or how quickly they grow, or for other reasons. But unless you can write multimillion checks you will simply not get access to later funding rounds as an angel.

What if there was someone who could help you overcome these limitations? What if there was a simple way to broaden your deal flow across different topics, stages, and geographies? That would let you complement your seed-stage investing with access to competitive later-stage financing rounds of startups from the hotbeds of the European startup scene, no matter where you’re based?

If that doesn’t sound too bad, consider why over 100 seasoned business angels from all over Europe invested with Verve Ventures in 2021 alone. Several business angel clubs from different countries have partnered or are in the process of partnering with Verve Ventures. They get access to Verve Ventures deal flow our team has sourced, analyzed and prepared for investment. Access to documents, meetings with founders as well as investment execution are 100% digital. This is what next-generation venture capital looks like.

But who, you might ask, is Verve Ventures? Established in Switzerland in 2010, the company has grown into one of the most active venture capital investors in Europe. The portfolio comprises more than 120 active startups from 11 European countries. In 2021, the private investors and family offices that make up Verve Ventures’ network have invested EUR 57m in 30 new portfolio companies and follow-on rounds and got money back from 2 companies that went public and 6 that got acquired. Verve Ventures’ team of investment professionals is 20 strong (out of almost 50 in total), with experts in Physics, Biotechnology, Engineering, and other relevant topics. The digital infrastructure is developed in-house and makes investing in startups and managing one’s holdings as easy as possible.

Chris Gay-Crosier, who heads Verve Ventures International Investments, sees a clear value in partnering with business angel clubs across Europe for all parties involved. “The strengths of business angels and Verve Ventures are complementary. We give business angels the means to diversify their investments and access to attractive opportunities they wouldn’t see otherwise. With our network becoming more diverse and international by the day, we can leverage the talent and experience of business angels from across Europe to increase the support startups receive. We effectively increase business angels’ geographical reach, which, of course, is also beneficial for them if we invest in later rounds of startups they have backed. Finally, Verve Ventures offers its network a friction-less place to learn about the European startup ecosystem as well as the chance to connect with like-minded people across borders.”

Joining EBAN is a logical next step for Verve Ventures after having refined its partnering process and seeing that there is strong interest from their individual members. This model and its benefits for all involved haven’t gone unnoticed. The next international partnerships with business angel groups that are members of EBAN will be announced in the coming months.

Contact Person for Verve Ventures: CHRIS GAY-CROSIER

Chris joined Verve Ventures in 2013 and is in charge of expanding the investment activities internationally. He has a Master in Law from the University of St. Gallen.

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