For most companies, the corona crisis poses dramatic challenges. Demand is collapsing, supply chains are breaking down, financing is becoming more difficult. The aftermath of this crisis will be felt for a long time to come. However, we are currently seeing developments that encourage confidence. Historically, crises have always been periods that have helped new thinking and new technologies to break through. This will also be the case now. It is already becoming evident in many areas: home office work and digital educational offerings, for example, have been rapidly gaining ground. And this is only the beginning.
In several future fields, such as digitalization, energy supply and mobility, there has long been an innovation backlog. The crisis will help to bring about overdue transformations. In many cases, there will be no return to the status quo. Companies that do not operate sustainably and are not innovative will have a hard time now. Instead, new markets will emerge, and smart entrepreneurs will shape them with new technologies. As venture capitalists, we invest in these entrepreneurs. No matter how dramatic the crisis is now, it will not stop progress, but accelerate it. We believe that sustainable companies will emerge stronger.
But currently it is becoming more difficult for start-ups to secure financing. In the face of severe cuts in their core business and strategic course corrections, many corporates will reduce their involvement in the venture sector. And institutional investors will also have to limit their risks, for example to compensate for losses in value on the stock markets. We are therefore facing a remarkable situation. While major technological advances and breakthroughs are just around the corner, there is less venture capital available.
This is an exciting constellation for investors who want to invest in venture capital over the long term. Company valuations are now becoming much more favourable. And for start-ups that offer innovative solutions, the chances of success are even increasing. Anyone who has been waiting for the right moment to invest in venture capital should now think about getting involved.
Panel: Successful Start-Ups in the Optical Industry
At the international trade fair for optics and design, opti Munich, a panel discussion on start-ups in optics will take place this year. Benedict Rodenstock is one of the participants. In 2010, Astutia Ventures invested in Mister Spex, a pioneer in the industry. The Berlin-based company is now Europe’s largest online optician with over 600 employees. Other participants in the panel are Kilian Wagner, Co-Founder of Vio, Michael Menig, Co-Founder of Annu Eyewear and Hülya Yig-Özgen, founder of Glasses on Wheels. Together they will share their experiences and discuss which factors are important to make a start-up a success.
Building Radar recently raised EUR 5 million in the Series A round. The Munich-based PropTech-startup was founded in 2015. When you would like to learn more about the team, the company’s development to date and the next steps, you can read about it in the current case study of Venture Capital Magazine.
Looking for a Christmas present? Handelsblatt recommends Horizn Studios
Looking for the perfect Christmas present for a business frequent flyer or a digital nomad? In the series “the best gifts”, German business newspaper Handelsblatt recommends the products of Horizn Studios, such as the cabin trolley or the Gion Backpack. The smart luggage products are lightweight, durable and good-looking, and they feature many intelligent details for mobile phones, laptops, hard drives, cameras and so on. For all Handelsblatt recommendations, please click here.
With Yumbau, we are happy to welcome a new company in our portfolio. The founders Hongmei Zhang and Kevin Brück develop high-quality Asian food for consumers and professional chefs, focusing on the popular Chinese dumplings known as Dim Sum, and the matching sauces. Until today, we have supported the team as mentors, now we have invested. Yumbau has successfully developed the first products and is supplying clients in the premium gastronomy. Now the startup is ready to enter the consumer market. We are looking forward to working together with the team.
The Munich-based PropTech startup Building Radar receives 5 million EUR in the Series A financing round. The team led by the founders Leopold Neuerburg, Paul Indinger and Raoul Friedrich uses artificial intelligence to map construction projects and tenders worldwide and consolidate them in an intelligent database. In this way, construction industry suppliers and service providers can easily find suitable projects. Building Radar’s software identifies around 5,000 new projects per day from over 100,000 different sources. Today, the database comprises a total of over 5 million construction sites. Customers include Linde AG, Vitra, Schüco and Viessmann. In the current financing round, PropTech1 Ventures, Coparion, FO Holding and Signa Innovations joined as new investors. ASTUTIA has been invested in Building Radar since mid-2018. The founding team will use the capital to expand into new markets, further refine the search algorithm and optimize search results with the help of machine learning.
Interview with Messe München: Stefan Glowacz und Benedict Rodenstock discuss risk
In the interview with Messe Munich, climbing pinoneer Stefan Glowacz and Benedict Rodenstock talk about their individual relation towards risk. Among other things, they discuss how they deal with risk professionally as athletes and investors, and how they assess the role of risk in sporting and entrepreneurial success.
Astutia STARTUP: Get-Together with Venture Capital, Family-Owned Businesses and Art
On Wednesday, June 26th, 2019, many of our friends and business partners from the fields of venture capital, family-owned businesses and art came together at the Astutia STARTUP event. Under sunshine and in a relaxed atmosphere, 120 invited guests enjoyed the evening at the premises of the Stiglerie event location. The artists Birthe Blauth, Manuela Hartel and Dominik Theobald accompanied the evening with selected multimedia works and interactive installations. In the panel discussion, we could explore the intersections of venture investments, family businesses and art, together with Sebastian Schaal, founder and CEO of Luminovo GmbH, and Max Marcour of the Dräxlmaier Group. We would like to thank all guests and contributors for the beautiful evening.
Horizn Studios has closed the next financing round with a total volume of EUR 10 million. Besides Astutia Ventures, the investors were Milano Investment Partners, Project A Ventures, Vorwerk Ventures, Perpetual Investments and Tarsadia Investments. Horizn Studios was founded in 2015. Stefan Holwe, Jan Roosen and their team develop and manufacture smart luggage for the digital age. The new financing round will help to push the international expansion. Astutia is invested in the Berlin-based startup since 2017.