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vc autria by vestbee
24 March 2022·9 min read

Ilya Mikhalchyk-Kananenka

Community Builder, Vestbee

Top VC Funds In Austria To Finance Your Startup

In an upcoming article from our VC series overviewing the most active venture capital firms across Europe, the time has come to look closer at Austria. As with many other places already reviewed in our series (for example Ukraine or Romania) Austria is no exception to the regional dynamics and has been steadily attracting more and more venture funding in an attempt to capitalize on the country’s well-educated and tech-savvy society. 


Therefore, it comes as no surprise that we had recently contemplated the appearance of the country’s first unicorns (among them Bitpanda and GoStudent) and the eventual growth of local ticket sizes, uplifting the local ecosystem towards having more and more startup opportunities. 


So, without further ado, let’s discover Top VC funds from Austria investing in early-stage startups.

Uniqa Ventures

Geography: DACH and CEE
Preferred industries: FinTech, InsurTech, and Digital Health
Investment ticket: €0.5M and up to €5M
Company stage: Series A, later, and growth stage

Uniqa Ventures is a corporate venture fund of Austria’s Uniqa Insurance Group which seeks established startups within the realms of groups’ focus - FinTech, InsurTech, and Digital Health. In addition to providing growth capital of up to €5M, the investor’s team also adds value by sharing deep domain expertise and its wide industry network. Having well over 30 investments under its back, some, though not all of them include insurance platform INZMO, revenue-based financing startup wayflyer, as well as short-term property loan platform Estateguru

Elevator Ventures

Geography: CEE
Preferred industries: Fintech and related enabling technologies
Investment ticket:  up to €3M 
Company stage: Early and growth stages

The next on our list - Elevator Ventures, a venture arm of the country’s biggest banking group Raiffeisen Bank International is an active investor in the CEE’s finest fintech innovation and related enabling technologies. As you can expect from one of the largest financial institutions in the region, a portfolio of theirs not only get a financial investment but access to the group’s vast domain expertise, local market insights, as well as a potential way into a wide 16M customer base of the Raiffeisen. The firm’s portfolio includes but is not limited to the eCommerce platform CloudCart, Twisto’s payment app, and the country’s first billion-dollar company Bitpanda.

Speedinvest

Geography: Europe
Preferred industries: Consumer Tech, Deep Tech, Digital Health, Fintech, Industrial Tech, Marketplaces, and SaaS.
Investment ticket: €700k - €1.3M
Company stage: Early stage

The very first on our list, pan-European Speedinvest is habitually seen among the most active early-stage investors in the whole of Europe with offices spanning across its major tech hubs - Berlin, London, Vienna, Paris, and Munich where Speedinvest holds a tight grip on the regions’ latest trends in tech innovation. In its thesis, the fund aims to be more than just an investment ticket and takes the aspiration a step further by devising sector-focused investment teams with relevant industry experience and know-how that help guide the venture forward. In addition to this, the fund can also provide operational support in hiring, strategy, connections to the follow-on investors, and more. The firms’ vast portfolio includes almost all of the country’s biggest startups: unicorn neobroker Bitpanda,  mobility startup TIER, insurance platform wefox, GoStudent, and many, MANY more.

3VC

Geography: DACH and CEE
Preferred industries: Software technology across industries
Investment ticket:  €1M - €4M in series A rounds
Company stage: Seed to Series B

3VC is a Vienna-based private VC that invests in software startups across different sectors and industries. The firm prefers to back companies that had just started scaling their operations and are looking to raise growth capital. However, the investment team also occasionally considers companies that had just built their first sellable prototype and are on the lookout for product-market fit at the seed stage. Among 3VCs small yet diverse portfolio you may find localization platform Localise, airside operations startup Assaia and digital healthcare startup Kaia Health

APEX Ventures

Geography: Global
Preferred industries: Deep tech
Investment ticket: Around €500k
Company stage: Early stage

APEX Ventures is a venture firm investing in deep tech startups built around scientific discovery and defendable intellectual property. The fund is open to investment opportunities across the globe, however, they prefer to choose companies in close proximity to their region within DACH and CEE. In addition to funding, the investment team also helps startups connect with potential corporates, industry experts and develop a go-to-market strategy. Some portfolio companies of theirs include deep learning medtech contextflow, patient intelligence startup DocDoc as well as financial crime intelligence company Elucidate.

aws Gründerfonds

Geography: Austria
Preferred industries: Sector-agnostic 
Investment ticket: €100k - €3M
Company stage: Early stage

The next on our list, aws Gründerfonds is is a subsidiary of the country’s Federal Development Bank that is solely and exclusively dedicated to supporting local startups. In its approach, the fund looks for highly scalable businesses at the early stage of development from a broad range of sectors with the only exemption of heavy industry companies. During almost a decade of its operations and investing, the fund has gathered a hefty portfolio of over 60 companies among which you may find AI medtech IB Lab, IoT after-sales platform ToolSense and app store martech App Radar

Calm/Storm Ventures 

Geography: Europe
Preferred industries:  Digital Health and Wellbeing 
Investment ticket: undisclosed
Company stage: Early stage

Calm/Storm Ventures is a VC fund searching for innovative digital health and wellbeing companies at the earliest stages possible. As a predominantly pre-seed investor, Calm/Storm is first and foremost looking for visionary concepts and ideas that need some initial capital for a launch. Their portfolio startups get access to the community and the deep expertise of the investment team. Some, though not all portfolio companies of theirs include gamified depression-assessment app Thymia, rental property management platform Kiko and diabetes case service 9am.health

IST Cube

Geography: mostly Austria and sometimes wider Europe
Preferred industries: Deep tech
Investment ticket: starting from €150k 
Company stage: Early stage

IST Cube is a fully independent VC closely affiliated with Institute of Science and Technology Austria a firm that is laser-focused on finding science-intensive startups from the academy’s spinoffs or deep tech founders. As a portfolio company of theirs, you will benefit from such affiliation by having access to the institute’s research infrastructure, working space, business development support & coaching and of course - the investment team’s knowledge in securing an IP. The most recent investments of the IST Cube include biotech startup CellEctric Biosciences, Ribbon Biolabs democratizing the DNA synthesis as well as AI-powered energy management tool gnista.io.

Push Ventures 

Geography: Austria and Germany
Preferred industries: Sector-agnostic
Investment ticket: Undisclosed
Company stage: Pre-seed and Seed 

Push Ventures is a venture capital firm active for a little over a decade with which comes the experience and understanding of the ecosystem’s landscape and network. The fund focuses on finding pre-seed and seed companies the majority of which come from Austria and Germany, however, they are also open to investment opportunities outside of their target geography. Among the fund’s portfolio, you may find diabetes diagnostics company mySugr, sub-vendor management startup Gustav, and patient experience application careety

CNB Capital 

Geography: Europe
Preferred industries: B2B
Investment ticket: undisclosed
Company stage: seed 

The next on our list, CNB Capital is a somewhat unusual fund in a way that it is not bound to traditional time horizons but has an evergreen structure allowing you to grow and develop on your terms. The investment team seeks European startups raising their seed round across B2B markets. Some companies CNB Capital had invested in include hydropower optimization IoT solution HYDROGRID, mobile image analysis startup Oculyze and industrial robot producer fruitcore robotics.

Peak Pride 

Geography: DACH and CEE
Preferred industries: Proptech, Healthcare, Sustainability
Investment ticket: €200k - €1M
Company stage: pre-seed to series A

Peak Pride is a private equity fund that also invests in technology ventures across DACH and CEE. In terms of the sectoral focus, the fund’s team considers investment opportunities at early stages of development in three key verticals - Proptech, Healthcare, and Sustainability and is ready to invest up to €1M. The Peak Pride’s small yet growing portfolio of venture investments includes deep learning radiology startup Contextflow, building information platform bimspot as well as urban planning SaaS Greenpass.

Last but not least, one may also consider applying for funding from Austrian Angel Investors Association or try luck with the country’s well-known  “Hansi” as the source of angel capital. 

*If you have any insights about the article or know a VC fund that should’ve been included, drop me a line!

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