When people ask us to explain where we stand, we recognize that we are half a platform, half a VC fund. Let’s have a look at the 6 main reasons of our choice.
1. We believe in a massive movement of platformization of the economy and hence of VCs
Sector after sector we witness the emergence of massive networks built in the form of platforms, where supply and offer match together. This deep transformation of the structure of the firms and hence the economy is made possible thanks to the decrease of information costs (transaction, treatment, hosting, computing, etc.).
There is no reason that should make the VC industry an exception. At daphni, we organize ourselves as a platform to benefit from the incredible power of this kind of structure: network effects, scalability, collective intelligence and horizontal communication. And we hope we could benefit from a kind of first mover advantage doing this. We didn’t want to create just another VC.
The platformization of the economy is a strong vector of value creation. The entire economy is concerned. At daphni we have decided to digitalize our VC business and to build our homemade platform. The platform is fed by the founders of startups which apply, by our Limited Partners including corporates, successful entrepreneurs, academics,… and also by people of our own organisation. Pierre-Eric Leibovici, co-founder & partner at daphni
2. We can concentrate on our core value: making the best deals
The most important decision to take once you decide being a platform is to decide which activities must be kept in-house or left to our customers (entrepreneurs and LPs).
At daphni, we chose to concentrate on the activities that would provide the best value both for our LPs and for entrepreneurs.
- For our LPs: (a) providing them the best dealflow (through proactive sourcing, dealflow sharing between our members), (b) connecting the brightest minds to foster innovation, © managing the backoffice of the dealmaking to avoid them to waste time and money (legal, SVPs, etc.).
- For our entrepreneurs: (a) giving the right amount of capital needed through the size of our fund & co-investments, (b) offering clear and fair terms, © bringing them as much value as possible through connections and knowledge.
To be able to do so, we’ve built a community (knowledge + connections) & a digital platform (infrastructure).
All in one, being a VC as a platform is key to improve what is essential for a VC: the deal making, with a broader range of stakeholders involved.
Pierre-Yves Meerschman, co-founder and partner at daphni
3. We must keep pace with entrepreneurs
More talents, more entrepreneurs, bigger markets, digitalization of boarders, more users, more money: in the last five years, the European innovation market drastically changed. All the players in this ecosystem must keep up with a frenetic pace. In the middle of the game: the entrepreneurs and their tempo.
Entrepreneurs are supposed to first focus on their product in order to scale fast and build the next digital champion, not to spend half a year seeking to raise money. We believe our mission is to support their ambition by speeding up our internal process to stick to their timing. Sarah Caboche, builder at daphni
4. Because smartness is positive-sum game
According to the James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds, independent and heterogeneous crowds are counterintuitively taking better decisions than decision taken individually by the most clever expert of this same crowd, even if the members of the crowd have a bounded rationality and limited information. It works especially well when the analysis rely on many pieces of information scattered among individuals. Like assessing a young company. With daphnipolis, our community of entrepreneurs, corporates, angels, academics and creatives, we not only can make more informed decision but we also help entrepreneurs to grow faster and wiser.
At school we are taught not to share our knowledge with our peers, but knowledge is a positive-sum game: the more you share it, the bigger it gets for everyone.Willy Braun, co-founder at daphni
5. It’s the only way to create a scalable VC
As built so far, even the most ambitious and successful VCs are designed as service firms, with a low capacity to scale. This is especially a problem when you don’t have the means to grow organically (ie you don’t have a big enough fund to hire a lot of people).
Startups have taught us how to scale with limited resources. Technology and platforms are the two arms of our scaling strategy.
International is the new normal. Especially for European startups. Leveraging our global community online will optimize chances for our portfolio companies to grow internationally. And scale daphni’s impact.
Marie Ekeland, co-founder and partner at daphni
6. Working with tech & product people is just awesome
We started our journey with two core principles in mind. On the one-hand we wanted to build a community of awesome talents able to make the growth of our startups more fluid and on the other hand more transparency and sharing were indispensable. It took us a while to conceptualize one tool able to give a scalable, sustainable and efficient answer to these constraints. We have been able to design thanks to the priceless experience of our tech and product guys.
Product is the very reason of the launch of a new company, it’s at the core of its value proposition. An aircraft without jet engine is not an aircraft. Moreover, working with tech people means learning a totally new way of thinking. And once they’ve dropped off their armour, it’s great and sweet to work with them. Pauline Richard, builder at daphni.