What made you become a startup investor?
I have been working for quite some part of my career the past 20+ years on midsize to large corporate M&A deals. I've specialized as a tax advisor through my role as EY's tax partner located first in CIS and then in the Middle East. Later on I have made some personal investments into couple of VC Funds as an LP, progressing to a role of an advisor and mentor and finally as Venture Partner of the VC Fund, scouting for startups.
As my interest in the tech startup space progressed, my investment thesis developed into angel investing covering the seed stage and pre-round A. This brought me into EstBAN due to my business and personal connections to Estonia. I think I can bring value to founders through mentoring them within my area of competences, besides writing cheques; secondly - introducing them to VCs and other angels.
My personal investment thesis includes making up to €50k seed and late stage investments via angel syndicates, preferably via co-investing with other more experienced lead investors.
What kind of angel investments do you have and do you have any exits?
My investments include the following startups:
1) Direct seed investments: Bright Box Lts (exited); Cappasity Inc.; Welltory Inc.; Nowescape OU
2) Accelerator “Startup Wise Guys”: 2018 Batches 10 and 11
3) Limited Partner: GVA Launch Gurus Fund I LP, BRV Fund I LP, and Viaduct Ventures Fund I LP
What kind of startup and industry gets you excited?
Generally any startup that solves a big problem and addresses a large market. It is not necessary for the investment target to have a very large target market, just to dominate the local ecosystem. What is also important is product-market fit and “founder-market fit”.
Industries: medtech, payment solutions, health and wellness, entertaining space, social platforms, marketplaces, aggregators, AI, IOT, legal tech and tax tech.
How do you see your future with angel investing?
My investment thesis is to co-invest with lead angels via angel network like EstBAN and NordicBAN, but also VCs.
What is the best way for startups to approach you?