This year has been full of changes and difficult moments. Many investors stopped investing, while others believe it’s the exactly now the time to support European startups. What’s your POV on this?
It is true. 2020 was one of the most difficult years in history. In fact, we saw more than 90% of the global economy sliding into a recession, which is worse than the market environment during the second world war (see World Bank). Nevertheless, investors across Europe remained fairly active and supportive, while European Venture Sentiment (overall) dropped. Looking at data, we even see record numbers of investments. Now this should not be misinterpreted, we saw most investors focusing on existing portfolio companies, and at the same time very restrictive when it comes to new investments. Governmental rescue plans, such as the Covid-Hilfsfonds in Austria in the first half of 2020, co-investment regimes in Berlin or Hamburg and last but not least, mighty projects like the KfW Zukunftsfonds in Germany (EUR 10b) leveraged the innovation economy.
Having said this, we do see very different approaches and priorities for startup hubs among European regions. Some regions are extremely supportive and others introduce weaker programs, indicating lower priorities on their respective startup hubs. European Super Angels Club – overall – was quite active and had quite active investors in the club. We are proud to have shown record investments in 2020, not only in existing portfolio companies, but also in new companies.