On EQT Ventures’ investment in AnyDesk (revisited), best in class remote desktop software
With AnyDesk announcing its new round of funding and the team at Insight Ventures joining us as investors in the company, it seemed like a great time to share why the EQT Ventures team remains so excited about the company!
Our AnyDesk story starts back in 2017, when the EQT Ventures’ proprietary AI platform — Motherbrain — flagged a remote desktop software company in Stuttgart that was seeing a rapid increase in web traffic. In fact, the company was climbing its traffic ranking so fast that it was already hitting the same levels as the long-established category leader within just a few years of being established.
When the EQT Ventures team got in touch with AnyDesk’s three co-founders — Philipp, Olaf, and Andreas — however, they weren’t super excited about meeting investors or leaving their headquarters to embark on a financing round. And if you, like AnyDesk, were growing at more than 2x without spending a cent on marketing and already profitable, we wouldn’t blame you either…
Luckily, we managed to convince the AnyDesk team to let us join them on their journey (as you see from our original investment thesis here).
Most of us at EQT Ventures spent our formative years as founders and operators, many at product-centric companies like AnyDesk, so we understood where they were coming from when they told us they were “heads down” building their product.
With best in class organic growth accompanied by strong sales and great customer reviews, it was clear from day one that AnyDesk had achieved true product-market fit with their remote desktop software. But not all growth is equal and what was so fantastic about AnyDesk is that this growth was mainly product-led.
As investors who have been on the other side, building, iterating and selling products ourselves, we can’t help but be very product-oriented in our approach. This focus is often what leads us not to invest in companies because — in spite of numbers (short term) telling us otherwise — we don’t believe in the vision (long term) behind the product.
With AnyDesk, this was the reverse. We almost couldn’t believe how much better AnyDesk’s remote desktop software was compared to everything else on the market. Existing solutions were complicated, tedious and slow and providers didn’t really consider what was in the frame or being transmitted for that matter. In contrast, AnyDesk was smart, fast and content-aware, sending each part of the screen accordingly.
This wasn’t your typical case of a marginally better solution where the team just has superior tech. AnyDesk was (and remains), by far, the best in class product offering in the space. The team has created a proprietary video codec (DeskRT) for graphical user interfaces, which transmits 60 frames per second with incredibly low latency.
As a result, you experience high-quality video, sound and image transmission that’s so snappy, fluent and smooth you’d be forgiven for forgetting whether you’re working on your own computer or the one you’re controlling remotely. This fluidity, in turn, also enables new use cases that simply weren’t feasible with legacy offerings such as video editing and working with 3D remotely.
Our thesis for AnyDesk then came down to this: with an exceptional product driven by agile and efficient technology coupled with the amazing traction they had already achieved, all the while being bootstrapped, this was a hidden gem that was simply too good to pass.
AnyDesk is now at 5x the revenue of when we invested two years ago, making their growth over this period nothing but astonishing. With a radically improved product, growing organizational chart and plans for the next expansion phase, we can’t wait for what they do next.
And with that, we’re very happy to be joined by seasoned growth investors Insight Ventures. I — along with the rest of the EQT Ventures team — am super excited to continue working with AnyDesk as it opens its North American offices and continues its global expansion!