HBH Investor Talks:
Aster Capital: accelerating market access and internationalization for its investment companies
Startups working in the fields of digital energy, connected mobility and smart industry, have you already heard of Aster Capital? If not, you should definitely check them out. This Paris based-VC Aster Capital with offices in San Francisco, Beijing, Tel Aviv and Nairobi is not a conventional VC.
The company is organized as a business hub for startups, where the latter can get all the benefits from being a part of the diverse ecosystem. Aster Capital is focused on accelerating two critical stages for its portofolio companies – market access and internationalization. Read on to learn how Aster can help in your business.
What makes Aster different from other funds is that they, while being an independent VC, have a good number of big corporates supporting both the fund and the portfolio companies.
“Our goal is to help identify and promote business relationships between our corporates and startups.”
“Our goal is to help identify and promote business relationships between our corporates and startups. As a fund, we are independent in our decisions and investment management and our investments are not driven by the strategy of a particular corporation. We are not cvc for that matter. We focus on creating more business opportunities by linking entrepreneurs to corporates. Thus, often corporations act as clients or partners for our companies, but they do not determine the business strategy for them” – explains, Fabio Lancellotti, Partner at Aster Capital.
Right now Aster Capital is looking forward to increase their presence and build strong links in the Nordics: “Currently ⅔ of our portfolio comes from Europe. When it comes to the Nordics, we have done less than what we hoped, nevertheless we can show some good results, for instance our investment in the Swedish company Connect blue, which was successfully sold to ublox.com in 2014”, – says Anahita Eutrope, Associate at Aster Capital. We definitely see great potential in the Region and would like to be more present in the future.
“Our areas of investment are mainly the digitalization of the energy value chain, the connected mobilityand smart industries – including automation, machine learning, robotics, UAVs and drones to name a few. I invested in all three, but personally, I am mostly interested in energy and industrial applications.” – comments, Lancellotti. “I am currently interested to explore investment opportunities within the AI, VR / AR,IoT. While attending Slush in November I noticed those areas are really big in the Nordics. I see good potential there.” – adds Eutrope.
Passion in those areas is backed with necessary expertise. Lancellotti spent a few years in management consulting working, among others,for clients in the fields of energy, manufacturing and aerospace, completed an MBA and worked in Munich-based Early Bird VC before joining Aster in 2010. Eutrope has a degree in business and energy management, – perfect combination for a VC investor interested in innovation in energy and industry worlds.
“The most important investment criteria is the team and its ability to demonstrate already great achievements with little resources.”
Aster Capital invests mainly in Series A and B companies. The round ranges from 1 to 4 M euros with the ability to follow up to €10m in later rounds. “For me the most important investment criteria is the team and its ability to demonstrate already great achievements with little resources. It is our mission to help entrepreneurs build successful businesses. For that matter I would like to work with teams that are capable of delivering value with little resources in the very beginning. If the team has a vision and can deliver on that vision with limited resources, they will likely do better with an extra boost.” – says Lancellotti. “A great team is a group of dedicated individuals with complementary skills, good knowledge of the sector and strong execution & management capabilities. I also pay attention on management abilities to lead and inspire the rest of the team.” – adds Eutrope.
So if you are for revenue-funded strategy and your business is in the fields of digital energy, connected mobility, smart industries, make sure you are in Helsinki in May, – Aster Capital is coming to Arctic15.