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superangel vc of the month by vestbee
20 July 2022·6 min read

Founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneurs and angel investors: Veljo Otsason, Rain Rannu, and Marek Kiisa and joined by Marko Oolo and Mikko Silventola as General Partners, Superangel is an early-stage VC fund located in Estonia. They invest primarily in early-stage companies at pre-seed, seed or occasionally later rounds with a ticket ranging from 100K € to 1M € in its size. To date, Superangel's team has invested in more than 100 startups worldwide, including four companies that have reached a billion-dollar valuation and many startups moving towards that status fast. Their portfolio includes companies such as the autonomous delivery vehicle maker Starship, the e-commerce checkout and financing fintech Montonio, and the developer of autonomous charging solutions for electric fleets Rocsys. 

Recently, they have introduced their second, Nordic-based VC fund, with the aim to invest 50M€ in the builders of world-changing technology in the Baltics and Nordics. The fund partners’ previous investments have seen four companies reach unicorn status, including Bolt, Rappi, Veriff and Pipedrive. With their second fund, Superangel introduces tokens in its fund to reward everyone contributing to the portfolio startups' success.

So without further ado, let’s dive deeper into the details of the fund’s success! 

Fund Strategy Overview 

Geography: New Nordics (Baltics + Scandinavia)

Preferred industries: AI&robotics; mobility&logistics; fintech&SaaS

Investment ticket: 100k-1M

Company stage: Pre-seed and Seed

Product type: Hardware + Software

Product stage: MVP

Revenues: Strong validation or early revenue

Q&A with Marko Oolo, General Partner

What are the 5 main things you look for in a startup?

The things we look for include: 

  • Team - Why founders are building this business. What is their special insight and motivation?
  • Tech - What is the unique tech edge of the company, do they hold a patentable technology?
  • Traction - What is their business model and unit economics, how does the company make money, how much money have they made so far? (add revenue, growth numbers, preferably month on month)
  • Market - What is the market situation, who are the main players in the market, how does the company differ from competition?
  • Impact - Does this business contribute to a better tomorrow?
  • Excitement - How excited are we about this investment opportunity?
  • Ambition - What are the founders seeing as the end goal for the startup?
  • Exit opportunities - What could be the exit opportunities?

What disqualifies a startup as your potential investment target?

Superangel's focus is to invest in founders building a better sustainable future with game-changing technology. Non-tech companies are usually out of our scope. Also, we strongly assess equality, company culture, and ethical business model. If there is a hiccup in any of the previous we would rather pass the opportunity. 

What in your opinion differentiates the best founders from the rest?

Best founders are like honey badgers – they are the most resilient creatures on the planet, ready to tackle any obstacle that comes in their way. When it comes to traits we are looking for - to name a few - ambitious, customer-focused, honest, and resilient. 

What startups should take into account before making a deal with a VC fund?

Startups looking to take venture funding should firstly think about whether they are ready for the journey. Taking outside capital into the company puts pressure on the founders. However, pressure can be healthy. Investors are there to support you and help you figure things out, therefore it is best to use them as external team members. 

What is your approach to startup valuation and preferable share in the company?

In most cases market sets the price of a startup. It is up to us to figure out if the valuation makes sense to us as well. When we decide to invest, we think along with the founders of their long-term fundraising strategy. We offer founder-friendly terms and aim for around a 5% stake in the early stage.

How do you support your portfolio companies?

We're using the connections and our combined experience as serial entrepreneurs and angel investors to create the best environment for you and your startup to grow. We'll make sure the support you get matches your needs and your company's stage.

A super-network

If you run into a challenge, there's a high chance we know the right person to help you. A decade of investing, initiating projects, and bringing the startup ecosystem together has given us a power network covering local and global communities, universities, industry experts, angels and Europe's top VC funds. Many of our limited partners are serial entrepreneurs and investors who have seen startups become unicorns first-hand.

A strong foundation

Nail your KPIs and metrics, customer development, positioning and company culture. Part of our team at Superangel is dedicated to helping you master the strategies that can make or break your company in the long run. If you already have everything in place, you can use us simply as a sounding board. To make sure it's not only the company that's growing but also the founders and the team, we additionally bring in personal leadership and business coaches for extra power.

Extra fuel for scaling

Get badass industry experts with a wealth of experience to join your team as visiting experts and prepare your company for scaling – on us. They will help you develop fundamental strategies and processes, such as setting up a sales playbook, finding and onboarding talent or creating a growth marketing strategy over 1:1 sprints. The experts have skin in the game as they receive tokens of the Superangel fund in return, meaning if you win, they win.

What are the best-performing companies in your portfolio? 

To name a few – Bolt, Veriff, Montonio, Bob W, Koos.io, Salv, Vok Bikes

What are your notable lessons learned from investments that didn’t work out as expected?

In the majority of cases, it comes back to the founding team. We have learned it is easier to build a startup if you have a team of 2-3 co-founders, where each covers a critical area of the business.

Secondly, we suggest taking time to think through critical topics between shareholders. There might come a time when someone has to leave – it is easier when you have thought this through, so others could continue.

What are the hottest markets you currently look at as VC and where do you see the biggest hype?

We are very excited about high-tech solutions, which could contribute to the better future of tomorrow -  sustainable, climate-neutral, or disruptive companies from sectors such as – banking, construction, logistics etc.

In your view, what are the key trends that will shape the European VC scene coming years?

We are believers that in the next decade or two biggest value will be driven by science-based and innovation-driven technology companies. It will be complemented by a SaaS layer to bring new technologies into everyday use. Climate neutrality, autonomous technology, people-owned internet, diversity, and equality will be the keywords for the coming decade.

Related Posts:

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VC Of The Month - EBRD Venture Capital  (by Konrad Koncerewicz, Head of VC & Startups, Vestbee)

VC Of The Month - Kaya VC  (by Konrad Koncerewicz, Head of VC & Startups, Vestbee)

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