19. July 2013–
Take 30 business angels who’ve altogether made more than 350 tech investments worldwide, get them to combine their forces into one collective and you'll end up with investing group True Global Ventures.
The out-of-the-ordinary early-stage investment vehicle is an ambitious project that’s headed up by an equally ambitious man: Dušan Stojanović, who was just crowned Business Angel of the Year in Europe. The title hasn't given him a big head though – when we asked him about it, he was quick to admit: “That was a fluke. The reason I was nominated and won the votes in the end was because, by chance, three of my investments exited in one week. That will probably never happen to me again!”
Stojanović came up with the idea for the self-named “super angel” fund as a means to make more substantial investments globally. Portfolio companies in its first fund – named TGV-1 – include US-based Sharespost, which announced a joint venture with Nasdaq, and French 4GSecure, which has since been sold to SCCP Group.
On average, True Global Ventures provides between $100,000 and $500,000 in funding and has made a total of seven investments. The latest news from the investment group includes a €1.3m funding round for Berlin-based games service provider Stryking and a seed funding round for US crowdfunding platform Bountysource.
The angels that make up True Global Ventures are based in eight cities globally: Stockholm, Shanghai, Peking, Hong Kong, Berlin, Paris, New York and San Francisco. The collective has restricted itself to only investing in startups from these cities, where the business angels are most experienced and have know-how in the local market.
And what does running a truly global VC firm mean for Stojanović himself? A lot of frequent flyer miles collected while traversing the globe to get to three different continents, he tells us. His work consists of a never-ending travel schedule: Making his way to the eight cities and, when he gets back to his home base of Stockholm, starting the cycle from the beginning again. An exhausting, but rewarding job – and a fitting one for a man that speaks six languages fluently.
What a day in his life looks like, why Berlin company builders Rocket Internet and Team Europe are not producing startups True Global Ventures is interested in, and whether Sweden has something in the water that makes its startups so great – all this and much more is revealed in our interview with the nomadic investor….
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