Sofokus Ventures 2022 in Recap
16 Jan 2023 • Ventures & Startups
The startup market in 2022 was reflected by the global trends and phenomena, making it a challenging one: humanitarian crises, rapid inflation, and acceleration of digital transformation affected the market deeply. Here’s a recap of Sofokus Ventures 2022.
In total, we participated in 21 events – 16 on-site and 5 online. We gave a few keynotes and delivered on-site training and mentoring/sparring sessions. For us being active in the startup community is elemental. It gives us opportunities to both learn and give back to the community while building brand awareness and opening up discussions with interesting startups. It is also equally important for us to meet new potential co-investors and exchange learnings.
We are constantly searching for new early-stage startups, which means that we go through a massive amount of companies each year. We aim to be amongst the first investors with a “late founder” mentality. We can lead the funding round or take part in the round someone else is leading. For us, the main thing is that the startup finds a few investors (angels or early VC:s) that can help accelerate the company’s development. This is why we also proactively evaluate how can we help the startup by bringing additional value with our digital business experience.
The screening process in 2022
- 402 targeted screened startups (companies in our investment focus)
- 85 companies stored to CRM (for further processing)
- 70 companies passed (further discussions and reviews)
- 10 in the process (go or no-go decision not reached before the end of the year)
- 1 in the investment process (decision to invest made, finalizing the paperwork)
- 4 investments made
The total amount of companies we went through was obviously higher, but we omitted all startups that didn’t match our investment focus.
We invested in four new businesses in 2022: Blogtec, Statzon, eMathStudio, and Sellai. These investments somewhat relate to the changing investment environment in 2022. All companies have a production-grade digital product, existing clients, and over 100k € of annual turnover. In 2021, 60% of our investments were to pre-revenue companies, and only one passed the 100k € revenue mark. In 2022 the round closing times were also longer on average, with a record of 10 months from the 1st intro to money.
The overall growth of the portfolio
In general, the total turnover of our portfolio companies doubled in 2022. The total headcount increased only by three – from 28 to 31 persons – signaling growth ambitions with a controlled burn rate. Note that we have calculated only portfolio companies we invested in before 6/2022 to give a more accurate overall picture of the total revenue growth.
One of the goals for our investments is to help and accelerate the path to the next funding round. This year, two of our portfolio companies raised more capital, and Sofokus Ventures participated in both rounds.
Going forward for 2023
We are entering 2023 with a positive mindset. Although there is much uncertainty in the market, we see clear signs that innovation and digital business are about to leap. This postdigital leap will push the whole market forward. We have already validated that there is a demand for digital business competence-based early-stage VC. Startups appreciate the help and business acceleration in addition to capital.
This year we are on the lookout for more early-stage startups needing capital and acceleration, and we would be even more interested if you have embraced the new digital era means such as composable business, low-code/no-code, and platforms-as-a-service. We strongly believe that soon the best startups adopt technologies that accelerate digital development and strive to make their business more adaptable according to sudden changes in the market.