Hi, my name is.

Photo credit: Matt Botsford

Mic check 1–2.

my name is,
My name is,
My name is,
 ̶S̶l̶i̶m̶ ̶S̶h̶a̶d̶y̶ Creathor Venture!
[Eminem: My name is]

Hi there! Although we wanted to say hello and although we hope that it is us you are looking for, we could not force ourselves to start this blog with Lionel Richie’s “Hello”. But we do want to be polite and introduce ourselves.

So, who are we?

Music lovers, obviously. But more than that we are venture capital investors. Maybe you already know us, maybe you don’t. Maybe you only think you know us, but your conception of us is blurred, biased or any other adjective starting with a “b”, although we have been successfully investing in technology-oriented companies and entrepreneurs for more than 30 years (this includes predecessor VC funds run by our management team). 30 years is quite some time for European standards as you will know. Still, we feel like we need to tell the world out there more thoroughly who we are and what drives us in our investment decisions. That’s why we decided to take our talents to Medium and open up a bit. We are Creathor Venture.

Some quick facts: We are a pan-European venture fund with offices in Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. We are early-stage investors, providing up to EUR 10 million over several financing rounds. Currently, we manage funds of more than EUR 220 million (and by the way, we are raising a new fund, just in case you are interested…).

Industry-wise we focus on tech, life sciences and the intersection of the two. Since this means a thousand things to a thousand people, we will try to break things down a bit in the upcoming months. For today’s post, the following must suffice: In tech, we use a rather broad definition of the term, meaning that we invest in everything tech-related and/or web-based, from SaaS models (such as our portfolio company Shopgate) over platforms (such as our portfolio company HAPPYCAR) to die-hard deep-tech companies (such as our latest family members R3 Coms and Adaptive Simulations). No AI, no machine learning, you ask? Of course! Several of our start-ups make use of the one or the other to at least some extent (and we are not talking about the mere buzzword-AI many founders are working with these days). Sectors that we currently find exciting include traveltech, insurtech, property tech, and logistics, just to name a few.

In life sciences, we usually focus on precision medicine (as represented amongst others by Chundsell Medicals), enabling and diagnostic platforms (such as Sirion Biotech or CEVEC Pharmaceuticals), MedTech (e.g. Sinopsys Surgical) and digital health (such as Humanoo or Klara).

What do we do (when we are not listening to music)?

With 9 investment professionals (including the management team which is actively involved in day-to-day portfolio company support) and currently 34 investments we are very much a hands-on VC, putting a lot of time and resources into supporting our start-ups. Most of the time, we are the most active investor in our investments. Without being pushy we try to make our portfolio companies benefit from the experiences and networks that we made over the past 30+ years in European VC. [Disclaimer: Of course, this experience also includes knowing when it is time to become a bit pushy.]

And just like every VC fund we invest a lot (like really A LOT) of time into deal sourcing in order to find the best investing opportunities.

Recently, we have started to build what we call industry expert clusters aiming to connect and shorten links between start-ups, corporates, academia, research institutions and investors in different dedicated industry segments, such as insurtech, digital health, property tech etc. One of the main activities to bring this idea to life is an exclusive roundtable series where we discuss the practical implications of different major trends on the respective industries. Learn more about our past and future events and how you can be part of our industry expert clusters in one of the following posts.

Who do we love?

Unlike that Donald T. guy, we honestly love all the people! From an investor’s perspective however, we need to channel our love towards certain groups or subgroups.

  • Founders/Start-ups: We love tech or life science entrepreneurs aiming at something truly new, exciting, disrupting (sorry, we just had to drop it). To increase the chances of a marriage between your start-up and us, we like to see a first proof of concept, ideally expressed in a mid-sized six-digit yearly total revenue. Of course, the technology or solution needs to be scalable. 
    However, all this is worth close to nothing if you do not have the right team for it. That is why we examine the team very carefully before investing. We must be convinced that the people in charge have the brains, the resilience and the character to turn a small start-up into a world-leader in its segment or niche. We do not invest in ideas, we invest in people with brilliant ideas.
  • Investors: Being in a fundraising process, it could be tempting to state that we love all investors, as long as they just throw enough money at us. We are convinced that this is not the right strategy in the long run. Instead, we love fund investors who are like-minded and a powerful addition to our existing network, being ready to share their own expertise and network with the start-ups we invest in.
  • Partners: We love partners. Just as in a marriage, everything is easier with the right partner (at the same time, life can be tough with the wrong partner…). We have excellent partners among other VCs, corporates and former portfolio companies (as outlined above, our fund investors are partners as well). If you feel like we should become partners, get in touch!
  • Talents: We love bright people, and we are not afraid to hire them. But like the founders we invest in, you only get the job if the chemistry between you and us is right. 
    Apart from that, we are also constantly on the lookout for talents that help our portfolio companies grow. If you think we should be together or if you know someone who knows someone, please have a look here.

We know that these criteria are a perfect world’s criteria. Since the world is not perfect, we sometimes make exceptions to our own rules — just as in our private lives where we sometimes love imperfect people (and are glad that these imperfect people make the same exceptions with us).

What are our plans with this blog?

Obviously, this brief introduction to Creathor Venture was rather superficial. So, kudos if you have made it this far! We promise you will get to know us better over the time as we plan to publish content that will go further into detail of certain aspects of our work, sometimes being more pointed or even inconvenient, sometimes entertaining, but hopefully always interesting. All that on a regular basis (you know it would be stupid to be more precise). Most likely, you will get to read content that can be squeezed into these three categories:

  • Insights into who we are, how we work and what is on our minds
  • Industry topics such as our view on certain VC-related subjects, dedicated industry perspectives, lessons learned, tips for founders etc.
  • Miscellaneous including some funny stuff (and maybe even some “earworms”)

Speaking of earworms:

I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
You’re all I’ve ever wanted and my arms are open wide
Cause you know just what to say and you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much, I love you
[Lionel Richie: Hello]
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