Sramana Mitra: So let’s double-click down into your portfolio and talk about some of the highlights. Where are you seeing really interesting companies emerging? What are some examples of companies you invested in that could also give us a view on what is happening in Europe?
Alastair Mitchell: We invest across US and Europe. We are trying to be the most preferred and trusted partners to entrepreneurs in Europe. If you’re looking to grow your company from US into Europe, we would love to be the go-to guys. That’s our objective.
Certainly in Europe, if you believe you’re going to grow a global business, we want to be the go-to VCs. Looking at our investments, what are some of the trends we’re seeing? We’re lucky enough to have some incredible companies. The general thesis is around differentiated, strongly technical founders who we can help commercialize.
What is the common thing when we talk to these companies? They’re doing something that Europe has a particular strength in in a lot of cases. Either they have a big customer that needs the product or a bit of technology that spun out of a particular strength that Europe has like in health tech or marketplaces, or AI areas.
Let’s talk about the B2B side, which is very close to my heart. I’m a B2B SaaS guy. Let’s start off with the later stages.
There are companies like US-based HackerOne. They have a very well-known European founder called Marten Mickos who’s the CEO of MySQL. We invested in them alongside Benchmark to help them go into Europe. They’re into white hat hacking. We have companies like Codacy, which is a great company out of Lisbon. They are helping developers, developer managers, and CTOs to standardize the quality of their coders, and to be much more efficient about how they release new features.
That’s an amazing company because it shows the rise of dev ops tools. They do some very big enterprise deals. Portugal is not known for startups until recently. If you had to build a dev ops team, you’d say, “That has to be the Valley.” It’s an amazingly fast-growing company doing huge deals with Valley companies. It’s very exciting with a young team at Lisbon.
There’s another dev ops company called Anomaly based out of Stockholm. They help IT and admin teams to manage all of their very large server clusters and server farms. It’s an AI tool so it’s hitting on dev ops, IT, and AI out of Sweden. Just to give an example of how good some of these companies are, they haven’t seen a customer churn in two years. They literally have zero churn.
Looking at the B2C side, it’s really exciting because I think a lot of what Europe does very well is coming to the fore globally now. In health tech, we have two amazing companies. One its called Min Doktor. They are in, what used to be called telemedicine or video medicine. You basically don’t go to your doctors anymore. You do it virtually. There are four companies doing that in Europe and Min Doktor is the leading one.
It doesn’t exist at all in the US and will be coming to the US. We have a company called to help people get access to clinical phase drugs and trials so they can solve currently unsolved diseases. They may make drugs available using data and the global information in drug development to help people with new and very dangerous conditions. It’s an amazing mission.
Then one of the coolest companies we invested in recently in health tech is called Natural Cycles, which has become hugely well-known in Europe and is about to hit the US. It’s very early stage. It’s basically the world’s first digital and electronic approved contraceptive. So it’s an app on your phone combined with temperature-taking thermometer, which basically will tell you on any given day, if you have a red day or green day.
The couple who developed it developed it to get pregnant themselves. The lady who founded it is an amazing woman. She previously was part of the team that found the Higgs Boson. The husband is a physicist too. It’s just an amazing story.