It’s not a secret that today, the news headlines are dominated by the downturn in VC investment in the last two quarters of 2022, yet some predict that there is a beam of light shining through the horizon, and that a wave of M&As could potentially take center stage come next year. With so much uncertainty amongst investors, in Novobrief we’ve embarked on a quest to discover what fundraising is looking like in the upcoming months and what insights can experts in the Spanish ecosystem share with startups and entrepreneurs.
In this interview, we feature Marc Olmedillo, Investment Director at Barcelona-native Dozen Investments. Marc was a Consumer Healthcare professional at international pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline before becoming the co-founder and CMO at soon-to-be unicorn Colvin (Pau Gasol’s latest investment in the Spanish startup landscape). Today, Marc leads the dealflow team at Dozen Investments and serves as a personal investor and mentor for multiple startups.
Surfing the investment downturn wave
When we asked Marc if the slowdown in activity had affected their company’s investment thesis in any way and how they are bracing themselves for the final months of 2022, he stated that they “remain focused on continuing to expand the sectors we cover in order to offer our investors a diversified portfolio, which is fully committed to verticals with high growth potential and projects led by ambitious teams that can create a more productive economy and employment.”
“We’ll face the rest of the year as we have done so far, with a focus on publishing operations and continuing to offer more investors the possibility of investing in Spanish startups, defending their interests throughout the entire funding period” he expressed.
Following our previous coverage of startups seeking to raise capital in what’s left of 2022, we couldn’t miss out on learning Olmedillo’s opinion as a successful active investor in the Spanish ecosystem. Without addressing any specific sector, he shared that the best advice he can provide to entrepreneurs is to “be conservative in the runway when presenting a business plan, and seek to extend it to 24 months, mainly to prevent uncertainty from affecting future rounds of fundraising at uncertain times like these.” Marc added that it’s also important “to look for growth that is as efficient as possible, avoiding very aggressive customer acquisition costs (CACs) and presenting CAC paybacks as immediate as possible” since it’s something that is highly valued amongst investors, especially in the current scenario.
Team & growth over verticals and stages
Although the investment activity in Spain didn’t follow the same 2021 trend, Dozen Investments’ latest additions to its portfolio in the current year followed the same evaluation process as before. When asked what was the determining factor for startups to gain access to new funding during such times, Marc shared that their considerations remained “and will continue to be the same with our investment decisions. We constantly look for projects with a disruptive vision, with teams prepared to execute that vision and with metrics (however initial they may be) that show that these models make sense at scale.”
Did this drive them to pay more attention to specific verticals in 2022? “We started the year just as 2021 ended, with a fairly strong hype in everything that smacked of Web3, Blockchain, Crypto, and NFT” the latest being considerably reduced by the uncertainty that hit the crypto world by the end of Q1 2022. Marc added that “later in the year, our focus has continued to be on PropTech, Edtech, and Fintech solutions to a very similar degree as previous years, and we do not expect any specific sector to concentrate more investment than the rest in a marked way during 2022’s second half.”
Dozen Investments, formerly known as The Crowd Angel, was founded in 2015 by Ramón Saltor. The online investment platform has Inveready, Keyword VC, and Sevenzonic amongst its partners, and has invested more than 25 million euros in startups such as Glovo, Skitude, Yego, Parlem, or Cuideo, to date. Following a crowdsourcing scenario, Dozen has over 20,000 private investors registered on its platform.
In order to gather the attention of so many high-level and individual investors, Marc says that at Dozen they are “agnostic in terms of verticals and even in terms of investment phase. We understand that we must provide various opportunities to our investors, with varied risk profiles. Therefore, we tend to invest in projects that attack a large, growing market with expectations of continued growth.” At the same time, he shared that a startup’s team is, in many cases, the differentiating factor. “We want to invest in teams that have experience in the sector they are navigating, with ambition, great potential, and a demonstrated capacity of making sure the project may grow consistently. ”