Here’s some information that you might find useful.
If you have any questions not answered here, please feel free to get in touch.
- Who is Point Nine Capital?
- Who are the people behind Point Nine Capital?
- What sectors does Point Nine Capital invest in?
- In which countries are you active?
- What companies have you invested in?
- What are the investment criteria?
- How should a startup’s team look like?
- At what stages do you invest?
- What support can I expect beyond money?
- How do I know that this is true?
- How do I get in touch with Point Nine Capital and what materials should I send?
- How many investments do you make?
- What is the typical investment size?
- Are you open to co-invest together with other investors?
- What exactly is Lukasz Gadowski's and Kolja Hebenstreit's role at Point Nine Capital?
- Does that mean that Lukasz and Kolja learn about all investment proposals submitted to Point Nine Capital?
- How big is the fund?
- Got other questions?
Point Nine Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Berlin, Germany. And believe it or not, it looks like we’re actually the first Internet-focused VC to come out of Berlin.
Point Nine Capital’s investment team consists of two Managing Partners, Pawel Chudzinski and Christoph Janz, and one Associate, Nicolas Wittenborn. In addition we’re actively supported by our advisors Lukasz Gadowski and Kolja Hebenstreit. Take a look at the team page to learn more about each of us.
We’re exclusively focused on early-stage investments in Internet companies. In particular we’re actively looking for investments in these areas:
- Marketplaces & Lead Generation
We invest in SaaS startups worldwide, and some of our best SaaS portfolio companies were started in places like Denmark (Zendesk), Canada (Clio) or New Zealand (Vend).
When it comes to businesses with a stronger local angle, e.g. eCommerce companies, we’re focused on Europe, particularly on Germany and Poland.
We’re early investors in a wide range of highly successful Internet companies such as Couchsurfing, Dawanda, DeliveryHero, Geckoboard, Madvertise, MisterSpex, Unbounce, Westwing or Zendesk, to name just a few. For a complete overview please check out the companies section.
We look at lots of criteria. Important ones include the product, the market size and the market segment, the business model, the company’s early traction and of course the team. We are attracted to original, innovative uses of web technology – but also to online business models that have been proven to work in other parts of the world. We have a strong bias for great products, big markets, signs of early traction and a clear route for monetization, but we don’t expect everything to be perfect. We’re called Point Nine Capital for a reason.
If you are the founder of a SaaS startup, you may want to read this blog post which our partner Christoph Janz recently wrote: What we look for in early-stage SaaS startups.
We’re looking for dedicated, passionate entrepreneurs who want to use the Internet to build great products and disrupt large markets. The best teams usually consist of a product genius, a rock-star developer and a sales & marketing guru, but don’t worry if your dream team isn’t complete yet. The most important things for us are dedication, business acumen and of course integrity. We love to work with experienced teams and serial entrepreneurs but we’re also happy to back young and relatively inexperienced founders if they make it up with their intelligence and their relentless drive. Christoph blogged about it – we’re looking for animals.
And by the way, we don’t care if your team is spread across the globe or if you have your most productive hours in the middle of the night. We often work like that too.
Our goal is to be the first institutional investor in a startup. The company may have raised a small amount of money from friends and family, launched a public beta version of the product and got some initial feedback and users but does not yet have enough traction to be considered by a larger, more traditional VC. We call this the “0.9 stage” of a company – that limbo stage when you’ve left angel investor paradise but aren’t ready for VC hell yet. In that stage – too big for private investors, too small for VCs – many startups find it hard to raise capital, and that’s when we’d like to get involved. However, we also consider investing at an even earlier stage if the concept and the team are exceptional.
Taken together, the team at Point Nine Capital has more than 40 years of experience with Internet startups under its belt. We’ve built or backed a number of highly successful companies including Brands4Friends, DealPilot, Mister Spex, Momox, Pageflakes, Spreadshirt, StudiVZ, Zendesk and many others. If you join our portfolio, we’ll put everything we have – expertise, know-how, contacts – at work for you because we have only one goal: Help you succeed.
That’s a good question, because just like we do a lot of due diligence before making an investment, you should do your due diligence on any investor who you’re considering to work with as well. After all, choosing your investors is one of the most critical decisions in the life of your startup. You’re more than welcome to talk to anyone who we’ve worked with in the past, and we’ll be happy to assist you with your reference checks.
Just send us an email. Although we get a large number of inquiries we read each and every one and try to reply in a timely manner.
The best proposals usually consist of 10-20 slides that answer the following questions:
- What’s the problem that you’re going to solve? There are probably exceptions but most successful companies solve a large problem. Amazon, for example, solved the problem that buying books offline sucks (tiny selection, high prices). If you’ve got a solution but there’s not a large problem that it solves, you may have a problem. :-)
- How are you going to solve it? That’s the place to talk about your product or better yet, show it to us.
- What’s your business model or in other words, how are you going to make money?
- What’s your marketing strategy – how are you going to acquire thousands of businesses or millions of end users?
- How big is your market or market niche? You may not have reliable numbers but share your assumptions with us.
- Who are your competitors? List your most important competitors and tell us why you think you’re going to eat them for lunch.
- Who’s in your team and what have they done before?
- What’s the current status of the project and what are you planning to do with the funding?
- If you’ve launched already, please provide detailed KPIs. Most companies that we invest in have at least public beta already and we want to understand as well as possible how the take up of your product has been so far.
On average we make one new investment per month, i.e. around 10-15 per year.
The size of our investment depends on the needs of the individual company. Typically we invest between €100,000 and €500,000 per startup when we get into a new company, and up to around €1.5M in later rounds.
Absolutely – especially if they bring in complementary value-add. We’ve co-invested with a variety of business angels as well as VC firms and we can also help you recruit additional investors for your round if you want to.
Lukasz and Kolja help us to find great startups. They also offer their support to our portfolio companies, which lets our portfolio benefit from the vast amount of expertise Lukasz and Kolja gained from founding and backing a large number of successful Internet businesses.
We get large numbers of proposals and we discuss the vast majority of them within our three-person investment team (Pawel, Christoph and Nicolas) only, but at varying stages of our evaluation process we may turn to Lukasz or Kolja to get their opinion.
However, we’re aware that founders of pre-launch startups sometimes prefer not to discuss their idea with Lukasz and Kolja because of Team Europe’s company building activities. Therefore, if you want to discuss an investment proposal with us but you don’t want to share it with Lukasz and Kolja, please let us know before or when you send us your documents – we’ll be happy to honor that request strictly.
This FAQ list is still in progress. See, our own site is still at 0.9 stage as well. If you have any questions not answered here, please feel free to contact us.