The 20 VCs hidden in SaaStock’s “secret track”10 min read
Each year our flagship event, SaaStock, presents over forty hours of carefully curated content across multiple tracks. They’re all tailored to bring practical, actionable takeaways, and no matter which stage of the SaaS journey you find yourself at, they can prove incredibly valuable in terms of the lessons they teach. Attendees spend time carefully planning their schedule and registering interest to the top talks, building out personalized itineraries to supercharge their SaaS businesses.
But there’s another track you that is not as obviously advertised; the “corridor track.” This is the great hidden secret of SaaStock events and a resource which all too many will let pass them by. The experience of our speakers is unrivaled, but those seeking to get the absolute maximum from their attendance will also actively leverage the knowledge of our highly experienced attendees.
No more so is this the case, as when it comes to the investors in attendance. To put it bluntly, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll spend another day of 2019 surrounded by as many brilliant SaaS minds: make the most of it. With 400 investors in attendance, you could easily spend both days of the conference in back to back meetings with future funders and people who are incredibly well placed to give you unrivaled advice about your business. Others before you have done that and have landed funding rounds shortly after.
As in previous years, we will have a designated Investor zone at the conference and will also be facilitating those meetings through an app so stay tuned on updates for that. In the meantime, here is a taster of the investors that will be around, boasting vast collective experience across early, mid and later stage enterprises. Grab a ticket for SaaStock19 now at the best possible price. If you have any questions about meeting with investors or joining us as an investor, reach out [email protected]
Early Stage Investors
Coming out of the blocks with a real Dublin local, Rafiq Maniar boasts an impressive track record. As the founder of Vipsy and Crowdflow (amongst several other ventures) he has extensive hands-on experience of startup life, which stands him in excellent stead today as an Angel Investor in early-stage tech companies with S6T Ventures. Additionally, he is a co-organiser of Startup Weekend. If you’re in the events, gaming or startup space, seek Rafiq.
Representing early-stage venture capital firm Karma Ventures, of which she is an Associate, and hailing from Estonia, Marili Merendi has an impressive pedigree within the world of investment and wealth management. Karma themselves are known for their fondness for tech heavy offerings, and a specialism in late seed and A round investments in Europe’s most promising tech startups.
A venture capital investor with Accel, Andrei Brasoveanu shows particular interest in enterprise software, financial services, and cloud infrastructure. Accel, of course, need little introduction, with an extensive portfolio including Series A funding for Facebook, Dropbox and MyFitnessPal, Atlassian’s first ever funding round, and seeding for Slack back in the days when they were still Tiny Speck. All signs point towards them knowing how to pick a winner, so if that sounds like you, you might want to buy Andrei a coffee.
With over 15 years of experience in building software products and businesses with a focus on B2B SaaS business models, Markus Grundmann currently sits as Partner at the early-stage VC fund, Senovo. The firm itself has a strong focus on European B2B SaaS investments, and Markus’ own personal interest lies in finding promising tech-driven startups and helping them to scale. Actively welcoming pitches, if you’re in the market for early investment, Markus would be a great face to seek out in the crowd.
In her role as Investment Manager with Berlin-based Project A, Mila Cramer helps to oversee €500k-€5M investments in early-stage companies across Europe and beyond. Project A are known for their exclusive access to a truly impressive bank of operational experts, in areas such as Software Engineering, Marketing, Product, and talent acquisition, as they combine capital with in-depth operational support.
Joaquin has more than 8 years of experience leading Corporate Finance firms in London and Madrid. Today he is Principal at Kibo Ventures, a Madrid-based Early Stage Venture Capital firm focused on technology-driven startups, with assets under management above €110m. With notable co-investors across Europe, the US and Asia, Kibo have a preference for global-minded teams. They also have a notable focus on Iberian entrepreneurship, so if you’re joining us from this region, Joaquin’s is a name to memorize.
Having cut his entrepreneurial teeth as Startup Liaison for The Next Web, today Sebastian Karas is still on the hunt for the innovative tech startups in his current role as Head Of Scouting at mAccelerator.vc. With the list of talent attending and exhibiting at SaaStock, we hope he’s packing plenty of throat sweets and comfortable shoes. Powered by mBank, mAccelerator.vc are known for their focus on Late Seed and Series A investments, so if you’re a founder of a B2B software startup with traction and looking for funding, introduce yourself to Sebastian and make his job easier!
In his role as CEO and founding Partner at Vendep, Sakari Pihlava leverages 18 years of international experience in software, business and strategy development and venture capital. Based out of Finland, and with a focus on pre-Series A companies, Vendep have been investing in an impressive portfolio for over a decade, and favor those with MRR grounded in international markets. If your product is proven but you’re still figuring out how to scale, Sakari would be a great person to seek out.
Currently an Investment Manager with recruitment giant Indeed, Julia Qui has extensive experience in the field with previous roles held at Mosaic Ventures and New Enterprise Associates. Julia also has a strong philanthropic background, with a history of volunteering with the San Francisco chapter of Room to Read, Coach with the Bay Area Girls on the Run and MS Ambassador and Volunteer Teacher with the Harlem chapter of Citizen Schools.
If you’re a mid-stage enterprise software startup in the EMEA region, beat a path to Emmanuel Cassimatis at this year’s SaaStock. Heading up EMEA activity for the SAP.iO fund, he’s on the lookout for young companies seeking seed / Series A funding, with specialisms in areas including Analytics, eCommerce, CRM and Sales automation. SAP.iO Fund has made 20investments globally since its inception, half in EMEA, so if this resonates with your set up, we’d definitely suggest connecting.
With a personal specialism in Retail and HR Tech, Audrey Soussan is a General Partner at Ventech VC, who are in turn renowned for their sectorial expertise within Ad Tech, MarTech, and HR. As part of the European team, startups at seed and Series A stage hailing from this region would do well to sit up and pay attention to this presence at SaaStock. Recent investments include Chattermill, reachfive and 4stop.
A member of the Operations Team at Nauta Capital, Hannah Robbins has a cross-sectoral skill set developed as a result of a career spanning Asia and London. Operating from London, Barcelona, and Munich, Nauta have a strong European focus and are known for a tendency towards B2B software companies, as well as the occasional lean consumer play. Typically investing in Series A, they occasionally consider late Seed and Series B rounds.
Nik Ohri is an Associate in the London office of Summit Partners, a global growth equity firm. Summit Partners have over two decades of experience and expertise, investing in portfolio companies in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Nik himself has prior founder experience, having co-founded Kickstart London, the first cross-university, student-run pre-accelerator, connecting student entrepreneurs across London.
Deborah Mot is a Senior Associate at Forestay Capital, the tech fund of Waypoint Capital. Forestay’s footprint covers the main hubs in Europe, Israel & US and their portfolio currently includes names such as Wasabi, Bluebotics, and NexThink. Most recently they led a $15mil funding round for vCita, a leading cloud-based business management solution for small businesses.
As the Founder and Managing Partner of Connected Capital, Geert van Engelen has been helping some of the best B2B SaaS businesses to scale up since 2017. Connected Capital express a strong preference for customer-centric businesses, and again, with ‘return on location’ a high priority within their success, they only invest in companies with European roots. In terms of investment stage, they’re interested in accelerating growth, rather than kick-starting it, so if your business is turning decent revenue, with a steady customer base, we’re betting Geert would welcome a conversation.
Later Stage Investors
Matthew Jacobson holds the position of General Partner at ICONIQ Capital, a privately-held investment firm that serves some of the world’s most influential families and organizations. Providing advisory services and managing direct investments, there’s a strong focus on technology growth equity, venture capital, middle-market buyout, and real estate. Matthew is himself a prolific board member, as a Partner with Partner to Datadog, Snowflake, InVision, BambooHR, Braze, Gitlab and more.
M&A advisor and investment banker to the technology sector, Rory O’Sullivan is Managing Director of Pagemill Partners. Founded in Silicon Valley back in 2003, in the sixteen years that followed PagemillPartners completed more than 250 transactions for growth, middle-market and public software, hardware, Internet and media, and communications companies. Known for strength stemming from a technology sector focus, M&A and valuation expertise, as a division of Duff & Phelps, they also leverage deep strategic relationships and global reach.
Hailing from the Amsterdam area, Frederic Huynen is Vice President at HPE Growth, a hands-on investment firm focusing on growth-stage investments in fast-growing, industry-leading technology companies in Europe. Notable investments include Kreditech, PPRO, eGym, NGData, AEVI, Uberall and Tiqets. A committed and involved investor, Frederic also holds positions as a Supervisory Board Advisor with PPRO, NGData, and Kreditech.
Joining us from Munich, Germany, Tim Kindt previously worked at BofA Merrill Lynch, Eight Roads and Pantheon Ventures. Today, he is the Principal at Digital+ Partners, a $400m growth equity fund focused on high-growth B2B technology companies in Europe and the US. Tim holds additional roles as a Board Observer at Price f(x) and is a Member of the Supervisory Board at movingimage.
Hailing from London, Rita Lei is Managing Director at Torch Partners, who provide strategic investment banking services to growth-oriented sectors. Notable transaction experience includes Zoopla’s acquisition of money.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading financial services comparison websites, for £140m, and a $60m Series C round for Secret Escapes led by Google Ventures and Octopus Investments. Interestingly, Rita’s formal education, to PhD level, was in Natural Sciences and saw her work included in many top peer-reviewed journals. An unconventional road to her current position perhaps, but doubtless a handy grounding in the jungle that is investment banking.
So there you have it; the secret’s out. This shortlist gives just a glimpse into the range of expertise that will be in attendance at our Dublin venue this October. When planning out your SaaStock19 schedule, perhaps pause before packing your itinerary too fully with back to back sessions. There are lessons to be learned from every chance conversation, new connection, and casual introduction to investors. Making time to fully enjoy and benefit from the hidden wonders of the “corridor track” – the wisdom, experience, and influence of your fellow attendees – can prove a priceless addition to your time with us. Grab a ticket for SaaStock19 now at the best possible price. If you have any questions about meeting with investors or joining us as an investor, reach out [email protected]
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