A new domestic startup investor recently opened its doors, pardon office space. Loonshot Ventures GmbH, based in Tyrol and Vienna, is the new star in the investor sky. The faces behind it, however, are experienced and old acquaintances. Bernhard-Stefan Müller (Tantum – The Company Builder) and Hermann Schmidt (also Tantum) have taken the plunge and launched Loonshot Ventures together with Sebastian Scholda (Weilburg).
“Already in the past months, we were confronted more and more often with the question of how to better structure the captable during investments. We realized that our background as a company builder gives us the skills, the resources and at the same time an affinity to take the lead, which is often feared by other investors. This insight gave rise to the idea of Loonshot Ventures,” says Managing Director Bernhard-Stefan Müller.
The trend is towards risk diversification – several investors invest in smaller tickets. The captable is in danger of looking like a Swiss cheese and thus unattractive for follow-up rounds. In addition, many business angels are reluctant to go into the lead due to resources. This also emerges from the just published Austrian Investing Report 2022.
“We invest in a startup and invite other co-investors to bundle their already planned investment through our company. In this way, even smaller tickets starting at 20,000 euros can be implemented in a meaningful way. Nevertheless, a bundling of forces remains for the investors and for the Startup a contact person as well as a clean Captable” so Mueller further.
The business model is conceivably simple: If an exciting startup is scouted in which one would like to invest, Loonshot Ventures begins the negotiations. Other investors, who are also interested in the startup, can bundle their capital behind Loonshot Ventures. As a rule, this company subsequently also takes over the operational management of the investment.
“We (Weilburg Ventures) have already tested this concept and both we and our investors appreciate the strong and constant deal flow, the simple and straightforward processing as well as the chance to become part of club deals or even initiate them. The possibility to be “directly” involved in the StartUps despite smaller tickets and to consider and decide each deal in isolation opens a unique access for investors as StartUp investors. Like Weilburg Ventures, Loonshot Ventures will be very active in taking care of the investments and will take the lead, which reduces the operational work for the investors themselves to a minimum if needed” says Sebastian Scholda.
The focus of the new venture is on fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), agricultural and agrartech, and digital business models, which also shows the differentiation from Weilburg Ventures (focus on B2B solutions, preferably in prop and health tech).
“We have a clear focus. We invest with our investors in startups with valuations up to 5 million euros, with ticket sizes up to 500,000 euros. This ensures us a phase where we can also contribute a lot through our network and know how and bring real added value with direct impact to the startup” knows Hermann Schmidt.
For 2023, Loonshot Ventures is planning 5-6 more investments (one of them is already ready to be signed, another one is currently under negotiation).
“We are very much looking forward to being able to shape the startup scene even more actively than before and to support founding teams with fresh capital and experience and to spur them on to top performance. #bettertogether remains, as before, our motto for startup investments,” Bernhard-Stefan Müller concludes.
Text: Loonshot Ventures GmbH