Venture Capital in Austria and beyond

Vienna Business Agency - Venture Capital at the local level

GO AUSTRIA Program, Global Incubator Network, FFG, Vienna Startup Package & Wiener Startups

8. Juni, 2022

Michael Schuster on Venture Capital investments in Austria and beyond

Panel moderation: Petra Wolkenstein

It was an honour to welcome Michael Schuster, founder and partner at Speedinvest since 2011. The conversation started with a short introduction of Speedinvest on its funds and verticals, as well as the stages at which they invest. Based on a recent discussion with their emerging markets specialist, Petra added that they have started to invest not only in Europe but also in emerging markets.

Speedinvest runs five offices in Berlin, Munich, London, Paris and Vienna.
Focus areas for investment are quite broad and cover

  • DeepTech
  • FinTech
  • Health
  • Industrial Technology
  • Marketplaces
  • Saas & Infrastructure

Petra and Michael Schuster had a deeper discussion on the investor perspective. Thanks to Michael’s insights, we could cover many topics. We learnt not only how and why he got involved in venture capital, but covered also:

  • Which criteria are most important to Speedinvest to find startups attractive?
  • What is an operational VC?
  • How is Speedinvest structured internally (how are decisions taken, process, timing, people involved)?
  • How do you see the Austrian VC landscape and its appetite to invest in startups not based in Austria?
  • DACH Area compared to Israel and UK markets: what would be the advantage for startups to get a DACH-based investor on board?
  • How much do DACH-based VCs engage in cross-border transactions?
  • How do you see the aftermath of COVID-19? How has it changed VC investments? Are VCs still heavily involved in protecting their existing portfolio startups versus investing newly?
  • And we are interested in a classic: why would you prefer a SAFE over a convertible over a direct equity instrument when investing?
  • How do the current geopolitical environment and the coming economic downturn influence VCs, their decisions and startups when fundraising? (YC warns its portfolio companies that fundraising will be more difficult, take longer, less money in the market and valuations going down, as well as plan for a longer runway and be prepared not to raise)

The Vienna Business Agency Expat Center was pleased to have a full house and a lively discussion.

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