InReach Ventures: The Gate Is Open
I just realized that I wrote my last blog post 12 months ago. Why ? Simple answer: FOCUS.
I can’t say I am proud of the radio silence over the last 12 months, but I can certainly say it was deliberate and not something that just happened. I wrote zero posts, attended few events and limited my social media engagements. Quite a change given the past 10 years of incessant travelling to any and all possible entrepreneurial events.
As a founder of InReach Ventures and as a funder of many European startups, I am obsessed by a very simple question:
Am I spending time on the right things?
There is a time in the life of each founder where the whole focus is about internal-facing execution: building a product, talking to customers, building a team.
During these last 12 months, John, Ben and I have been super focused on EXECUTION:
1 — TEAM — We feel extremely fortunate by having the opportunity to learn from Adam, Ghyslain, Karolina and Walter. More team members will be added soon, but this is a great start.
2 — OPERATIONS — Whilst still a small team, with a mix of internal work and extremely smart use of external services, we have been able to put in place an efficient and effective operational machine ready to scale.
3 — TECH — Our technology platform (less-than-secret code-name: DIG) has been developing dramatically; we implemented our first set of machine learning algorithms 6 months ago, and have been iterating on them since. Today DIG is not a vision, but an indispensable tool in which, as a funder, I spend 70% of my working day using. Yes — I now spend more time in DIG than in my inbox!
4 — INVESTMENTS — We are working hard to use DIG, complemented by our network, to find the most interesting early stage investment opportunities in Europe. We have closed an investment in Soldo and closed two more deals (to be announced soon). In addition we also have several potential investments in DD phase. More to come soon. Watch the space!
In these last 12 months, we have identified almost 55,000 companies, reviewed 19,000 and engaged in serious qualification with 1,200. Yes — this is a lot of work and we have loved every single moment!
Below you can see a map of all the companies we have reviewed. They are located all across Europe and most of them totally unknown by the mainstream startup ecosystem.
So what is next? Easy: more execution! :)
We will keep working hard on scaling up operations and building our technology so that DIG can help us hunt for that ONE start-up; that will always be our obsession.
In the meantime, if you are an entrepreneur or you know of one, please refer her/him to us and ask them to answer these questions:
We will review every single inbound entry and get back to each entrepreneur with a clear view on next steps (positive or negative).