By now most people in the venture capital (VC) ecosystem have stumbled across the three letter acronym ESG. Many will be able to explain that the letters stand for Environmental, Social, and Governance — and that these are important matters, not just from an ethical perspective but also from a business perspective.

Featured image credit: Shridhar Gupta from Unsplash

However, when probing further into each letter, things can get somewhat obscure. Sure, it’s easy to name a few trending topics within each category (and almost always Carbon footprint and Diversity will be mentioned), but there’s much more depth behind each letter. …

We are on a mission to support relentless European founders to build solutions for the future where technology and data enable better decision making for consumers and businesses. But what makes OpenOcean unique as a software-focused venture capital fund and what specific benefits can LPs expect to gain by joining our upcoming Fund 2020?

Aiming high in Europe. Matterhorn photo by chil (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Let’s be clear, there are hundreds of early-stage tech investors out there, so it’s more than reasonable to ask what makes us different. …

OpenOcean is setting up a temporary four-week office in Berlin during February-March 2019. The reason for this is straightforward. We want to increase our presence in Berlin and strengthen our relationships in the local Startup and VC ecosystem.

Berlin is ranked among the Top 3 Tech Hubs in Europe. Licensed image from Adobe Stock.

Why Berlin you might ask? Well, we already have offices in three important European tech hubs, London, Helsinki, and Amsterdam. Naturally we try to visit other major tech hubs as often as possible, but we haven’t spent as much time in Berlin as we would’ve liked. So far we’ve only invested in two Berlin based startups, EyeEm and HeavenHR.

Berlin is often…

The world is producing massive amounts of data every day. Already back in 2010 Eric Schmidt famously proclaimed that “every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003”. That’s something like five exabytes of data, he clarified. Well guess what? In 2019, nine years later, we’re reaching the point when we’re creating that amount of data each and every day!

Soon we’ll create 5 exabytes of data each and every day. Licensed image from Adobe Stock.

The data explosion can be attributed to several different technological advances. Increasing computing power and the Internet of Things (IoT) are often mentioned as reasons, but there have also been…

A growing number of investors in the startup and venture capital (VC) ecosystem have finally started to emphasise environmental, social, and governance (ESG) related matters. There are good reasons behind it and the purpose of this article is to explain why that’s the case and what we at OpenOcean are doing about it.

“There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”. Photo by NR.

I remember hearing the first time about ESG many years ago while working at a corporate bank. A person from the Markets Division tried to explain to the rest of us why yet another three-letter-acronym was going to be important. …

The European startup scene is crowded with FinTech startups but the vast majority is focusing on payments, savings, lending or PSD2 related opportunities. A lot fewer startups are aiming to disrupt insurance related services, even though the insurance industry is equally ripe for digital disruption as the banking industry.

Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Our observation is based on our own deal-flow (OpenOcean logs about 2000 European deals annually) and on VC deal statistics (e.g. obtainable from Pitchbook). The low volume of InsurTech startups is also something FinTech oriented VCs quite often talk about.

Now, before you flood us with “Wait, haven’t you noticed this…

Unless you’ve been living on a desert island you can’t have avoided the recent hype around Artificial Intelligence, AI. Everybody is talking about the importance of it: business leaders, politicians, technologists, startup founders, and investors. Consequently almost all startup pitches contain some references to AI, and more or less all investors claim to be looking for AI opportunities.

At OpenOcean we have a very pragmatic view on AI and we like to keep our feet firmly on the ground. We don’t spend much time worrying about The Singularity or Paperclip Maximizers. We are not too worried about potential social unrest…

Many successful software products have started out as being vitamins but eventually evolved into being painkillers. What’s the difference and what should you aim for as a software entrepreneur?

Vitamins or Painkillers? Photo by NR.

It was during an OpenOcean hosted software event last fall that Nirav Tolia, co-founder and CEO of Nextdoor, reminded the audience that you should always ask yourself if your product is a vitamin or a painkiller.

This question is popular among venture capitalists and Kevin Fong, a venture capitalist in the Bay Area, is known for saying:

“We divide business plans into three categories: candy, vitamins, and painkillers. We throw away…

Niklas Rosenberg

Venture Capital Investor @ OpenOcean

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