Eearly exits or unicorn building? The first investor day at TechBBQ
October 01, 2018
TechBBQ, leading startup conference in Denmark, was organized in Copenhagen 24.-25.9.2019. About 50 angels and VC representatives stayed the night to discuss current topics of investing into startups during the event's first Investor Day. Risto Rautakorpi from Gorilla Capital and Danish business angels Esben Gadsboll and Rolf Garde had a panel discussion on the current trends of investing in Denmark and Europe.
Managing partner of Gorilla Capital Risto Rautakorpi, NordicBAN Chair of Board Esben Gadsboll and professional business angel Rolf Garde, were amongst the professional investors who participated into the first ever Investor Day by TechBBQ. They were invited to share their views on what’s currently happening in angel investing.
Both Gadsboll and Garde have invested both in syndicates and alone, but especially Gadsboll have experienced the benefits of investing together with other angels. “I have been doing investments for about five years now. In cases where I have invested in a syndicate, I have felt that it’s beneficial that there are angels with different skills and knowledge. This way the startup benefits the most”, Gadsboll explains.
When entering a topic on the duration of the investment, the panelist had different notions. “Angels should sell their shares when startup is ready to move to the big arenas. We do play in the same arena, but in different corners. It would be easier for everyone if angel investors wouldn’t prolong their investments”, Rautakorpi thinks. Garde agreed: “I don’t see my investments going over five years.”
Gadsboll saw it in different light, as to him, at least trying to build an unicorn should be the aim for all investors. “ But when only a handful of companies make a hugely successful exit in Europe, there’s no point in tagging along for too long”, replies Rautakorpi. According to FiBAN’s IRR study, the average holding period of investment is 5,5 years, a bit longer than in the international level. There’s no consensus on the topic, as it really depends on one’s investment strategy.
How does the field look in Denmark in general? “More and more VCs come to Denmark looking for good cases. We should definitely answer to their need!” Gadsboll concludes. “We also need more professional, full-time angels, both in Denmark and Finland!” Garde adds.