A record-number of 30 angel investors, with 11 foreign investors, participated in the Nordic Angel Program at Slush. FiBAN’s syndication service has already culminated into three successful funding rounds, with a track record of awesome investment targets: Screenful, FeelingStream and Duuers. This fall, angel investors, with lead of Tuomas Pahlman and Reima Linnanvirta, went through 130 companies to find the best one in Slush’s deal flow. After months of reviewing, interviewing, due diligence and negotiating, Crowst came out as the number one company and will receive syndicate’s investment up to 300 000€.
Crowst is an insights platform that helps marketing departments gain real-time on-location consumer feedback at low cost. “Crowsters”, as they call their users, redeem gift cards by the amount of reviews they do, as well as get the chance to influence the market. Crowst team has already gained benefits from the angel investors: “On being shortlisted in the top 15 after the initial online process, it was very valuable to spar one-on-one with the investors to hear their feedback, challenging our own thinking. The deep-dive done during the due diligence process was quite thorough and made us sweat through the discussions with the lead investors. It is great to have eventually earned their confidence in our business and be selected for investment. We look forward to leveraging the wealth of experience and expertise the angel syndicate brings as part of this investment program”, comments Richard Jerome, CEO and cofounder of Crowst.
Good founders that work well together was very important for the investors. "Early stage is all about focus and execution. Crowst team was not so advanced as some others, but they actually convinced us actually by not doing some important stuff. Because they had done the more important stuff. And they had done it darn well and focused on what matters so far”, describes Tuomas Pahlman, co-lead of the syndicate.
"The deep-dive done during the due diligence process was quite thorough and made us sweat through the discussions with the lead investors "
This fall, as the investor group was large and diverse, so were the top 15 companies. This represents in a way what angel investing is: in a big syndicate, there’s a lot of know-how in all kinds of technologies and industries, and thus, there’s room to invest into whatever interesting technology there is. In this round, industries varied from health tech to insect-based cleantech, from surveys to cloud-service for apps. Not only that, but the companies had founders who were originally from all around the world, from India to Latvia. “It was interesting to see that there was no single vertical dominating the Top-15. Instead, everything from EdTech to LegalTech, PropTech to FoodTech and B2B SaaS to environmental hardware was represented. This comes to show that good investment cases can rise from any vertical”, concludes co-lead Reima Linnanvirta.
The whole list of top 15 companies by Nordic Angel Program at Slush:
NAP investors, don’t forget to sign up for the final event at Tallinn 5th of December. Contact reetta(at)fiban.org to sign up for the event.
International Affairs Manager
The Nordic Angel Program is cofinanced by the European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative under the Horizon 2020 programme