It's been almost two weeks now since Redeye hosted the first edition of MATCH, a new approach to create a place for qualified meetings between investors and promising, unlisted growth firms.
The idea to host the event was born in a talk between Breakit and Redeye, based on the firm belief that we can create such a meeting place leveraging what we do best: investment research and focused journalism.
Why another tech-event, if there are so many?
The role of Nordic growth firms in driving the future of the tech and life science sectors is undisputed. Both the many successful firms coming out of Sweden so far as well as the ever increasing global investor interest in the region prove that. This also led to the creation of an endless number of events especially in the tech sector that allow unlisted firms, entrepreneurs, wannabees, investors and others to meet, mingle and network.
At Redeye, we like that. But at the same time, we also see a gap. A gap between especially the "VC world" that is omnipresent in these contexts - with big money, complex share structures, a "grow hard or go home" attitude - and entrepreneurs that have raised a smaller financing round to build a great product they believe can change the world. We believe that this gap includes a need for "smart" expansion capital which can be filled by an investor that is hard to find if you don't have them in your network. And that gap is not closed by any of the numerous events by various players out there. This is why MATCH was started.
Redeye selected 10 firms we see as especially promising, from a rather long list of tech growth firms we met during the last months
But what's promising and what's not? This is the crucial question for investors too.
Everybody has their own experiences, focus and preferences when it comes to finding potential investees, and valuation is always a topic for discussion. At the same time, several features should be universal for identifying a "good" company. In our Redeye Rating for growth companies, which we used in the selection of the 10 growth firms for our event, we lay special focus on these factors.
For Redeye, a promising growth firm is always:
- driven by real entrepreneurs, that are financially and personally committed to the venture, are enthusiastic communicators of their belief and vision behind the business and have the right backgrounds and ideally have been entrepreneurs before
- owned and controlled primarily by the founders and key staff, and only thereafter by a number of aligned and relevant strategic or financial investors - that can help with their experience and contacts when needed, but also know when it's best to let the entrepreneur be in charge
- building a great product or service with a solid business model, that addresses a proven customer need in an attractive market - which doesn't always have to be huge and global, as long as it's growing and evolving persistently, based on major underlying trends that relate to the firm's vision and position in this market
Redeye then invited 10 of the most promising firms to MATCH, as well as a number of selected investor contacts
The investors we primarily work with are the ones that can be extremely valuable to entrepreneurs, but are often also extremely hard to find. Many entrepreneurs we meet have created a great product, often in a first stage financed with money from their own pockets, FFF or smaller angel investors, but then they face this challenge of finding the "right" investors to finance the expansion of their business.
The question here is "what is the right investor?", and the answer is very different depending on which kind of company the entrepreneur envisions to build and in which phase the firm is:
- Especially for first-time entrepreneurs, the first problem lies in understanding what different types of investors can bring to the table, and how they relate to the entrepreneur's vision of the business.
- If an entrepreneur decides to take the VC road, which can be extremely rewarding for some firms, they have to find out which VCs might be interested in the firm - based on the business model, market, traction and so on, but also based on the team's personalities (are they up for the "grow hard or go home" journey?).
- BUT if they don't want to go the VC path yet or at all, they'll often have an even harder time finding the "right" investors and getting them on board. Investors that think long-term and have relevant backgrounds, that can be both supportive but also know when to let the entrepreneur be in control. Those that invest more often their own money than others and are therefore less likely driven by fund structures and -timeframes, but that still have enough capital to stick with the company along its growth journey.
At the same time, life for this kind of investor isn't easy either. They get proposals from firms all the time that find them via their own network, cold mailing or cold talking at the ever increasing number of startups-meet-investor events. Similar as for many VCs, this means that references or other ways to pre-filter this stream of investment opportunities become extremely relevant.
This is where we see our role, matching the entrepreneurs behind great Nordic growth firms in tech and life science with the "right" investors. We help the entrepreneurs to reason which investor types might be the "right" ones and where to find them, at the same time helping investors to filter out the most promising firms from the increasing "noise" of pitches, events and platforms.
We do that through
- Regular MATCH events with selected unlisted tech and life science firms and investors
- Our digital platform BACKSTAGE with profiles and independent analysis of promising unlisted growth firms available to investors
- Traditional Corporate Finance services (fundraising, IPO, M&A) between 10 and 200+ mSEK
If you're an investor or growth firm and recognize yourself in what we're describing above, drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Redeye står för nästa generations investment banking - vi tar en ny approach där vi tillsammans med våra kunder och klienter fokuserar på långsiktigt värdeskapande. Vi är specialister inom Life Science och Technology och brinner för att hjälpa tillväxtbolag att växa.