Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Daniel Keiper-Knorr was recorded in January 2019.
Daniel Keiper-Knorr is Founder and General Partner at Speedinvest, a venture firm based in Vienna. It’s great to see exciting energy and activity in Vienna, one of my favorite cities.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by getting you acquainted with our community. Tell us about you.
Daniel Keiper-Knorr: Speedinvest is a venture fund out of Vienna focusing on pre-seed, seed, early stage, and Series A. We’re doing digital-only. We’re digital pure play but within digital, we’re more or less, agnostic. When it comes to investment topics, our typical entry ticket is around €500,000 for the first round. You can invest a total of up to €3 million to €5 million after five or over several rounds.
However, the entry ticket range is from €100,000 up to almost €1 million. I’ve been doing this since 2011. Now we’re in our third fund. We have €230 million assets under management. We’re raising a new fund this year. Again, we’re staying with the same strategy, pre-seed, seed, early stage, digital pure play, and Pan-European.
Our current portfolio across the four funds that we totally manage is more than 120 investments across 23 countries ranging from Portugal up to Baltics, from the UK down to Israel and Turkey. Selectively, we go beyond Europe. We have two direct investments in the US, one in Brazil, one in Russia, and one in Ukraine.
However, the lion’s share of the portfolio originated from German-speaking Europe which is a natural thing given the firm started back here in Vienna. German-speaking portfolio is just about half of the portfolio.
Sramana Mitra: You do B2B and B2C?
Daniel Keiper-Knorr: We do. However, our own entrepreneurial DNA is from B2B businesses. The core team that founded Speedinvest back in 2011 was a team of six including myself. We ran a mobile messaging business that we sold to Verisign in 2006. Our own entrepreneurial DNA is digital B2B enterprise but still we look into the consumer, e-commerce, and B2C. However, it’s very selective.
You can probably dig into some cases which I’m happy to enumerate a bit later on but the bigger part of our portfolio is in B2B. Recently, I tapped into the e-scooter business in Europe. Typically, we go for hidden momentum cases like the scooter business or non-obvious things that have been overlooked by the VC herd where you can get in early at reasonable terms.
We worked with this entrepreneur for the first two and a half years. We were a bit under the radar to really get the company in shape and then break it out in a meaningful Series A. That’s in the range of €3 million to €10 million typically from European follow-on VC funds such as Atomic.