16. January 2014–
Andreas Hörr wants to solve a major problem that plagues both investors and entrepreneurs. While founders often struggle to find suitable investors, VCs are constantly searching for the next investment that would fit their portfolio. In the US, well-established portal AngelList has been acting as a matchmaker and bringing investors and founders together for the past few years. As for Europe, Dealroom recently launched a similar service with more of a VC focus.
Now, the latest AngelList competitor to enter the startup scene has been revealed – German platform Venturate. Founded by Hörr, who previously launched doctor comparison site Medikompass, the team behind the new marketplace includes Mydays cofounder Alexander Lasslop and business angel René Seifert. Amiando founder Felix Haas and SevenVentures Managing Director Arnd Benninghoff are on the board of directors.
An "expert circle" and discrete dealings
Venturate wants to address the specific needs of different groups of investors – such as business angels, SMEs and corporates – and facilitate their access to startups. Venturate also performs a preselection screening process before passing startups on to VCs – helpful, as VCs are often inundated with irrelevant business plans and pitches. The platform also offers a circle of experts, which it refers to as the "heart of the service".
This "expert circle" includes startup-savvy professionals and, for a fee of €299, startups can purchase an assessment from an expert in their industry. Using a startup's business plan, the expert writes a report on the company, including how good the product and team is and an assessment of the startup's target market. Startups can then decide if they want to display their report on the Venturate platform. Although Hörr claims "60 to 70 per cent of the reviews don't meet the founders's expectations", the process encourages founders to use the suggestions to improve their product.
Venturate also values discretion, permitting startups and investors to keep much of their information secret on the platform. That's one major difference to its US competitor – Hörr claims that AngelList is very transparent, with founders sharing their ideas and investors disclosing the details of their deals. In contrast, entrepreneurs on Venturate can conceal their names at first, only once both parties agree to start a conversation are they revealed.
Once communication begins Venturate pulls out of the conversation and, in a bid to remain neutral, doesn't take commission for successful deals. This policy makes the platform stand out from a third competitor, ExchangeBA, which accompanies investors and founders throughout the entire investment process. Another difference between the two is their pricing model – Venturate is free for startups, only investors are required to pay a membership fee.
Image credit: Flickr user JMR_Photography