An investment strategy is more than defining the perimeter of a playground or rules of investments. To be simple, look at what we have done at daphni and especially at our portfolio, and you will understand who we are and what we invest in! Nevertheless, we can give you a few hints about our philosophy.
Daphni mainly focuses on companies that are, directly or indirectly, developing services or products around new usage for consumer or prosumer customers. Technology is a tool. Usage and product market fit are driven by people, services and emotions. We are convinced that Europe has strong competitive advantages to create companies based on the unique European DNA; collectiveness, inventiveness, sustainability and quality of life. To guarantee good scaling potential, we pay attention to the fact that the value proposition of the companies we invest in addresses both domestic and international markets.
We invest in ventures. The stage of a company is not always easy to define, but generally, our investment strategy is to focus on and invest in companies, which are at least in the process of having a product market fit. After our initial investment, our objective is to take part in follow-on rounds, if key success factors are palpable. We are sector agnostic, as we want to support any outstanding opportunity and as we think that there will be fewer barriers between industries and innovations. This, since digital enables porosity, favors cross fertilization and is transversal. We are also technology agnostic as technology “only” represents the means to support the new usage we are developing alongside entrepreneurs.
We like singular projects that are disruptive, with low rationale at a first glance, as we know that these projects can be the most innovatives ones. For instance, we are not averse to hardware projects, as we think that, from a pure digital revolution perspective, technology will extend to a digital solidification revolution. Some of our co-investors say that we make bizarre deals from time to time. From our perspective, they aren’t bizarre, they just don’t answer to the common and vanilla (current) standards. It is part of our job to bet on forward looking initiatives and founders thinking outside the box!
Geographically speaking our sweet spot is Europe, but we have the flexibility to invest in deals outside of Europe. This, if we think that we can add specific value to the company and it therefore makes sense for the founders to have us onboard. In order to accelerate our startup’s scaling process, we have built a strong network of co-investors all over the world, as this enables us to partner with great funds adding complementary value to ours.
We are particularly proud of investing in companies which make sense for the world, and which can enhance sustainability in different forms. It isn’t by chance that we invested in Agricool, Backmarket, Blablacar, Beendhi, Fretlink, Geev,.... We invested in these, as we are strong believers in tech for good. We like the idea that innovation can improve the world we live in. Just remember our baseline - Build Da City For Good.
With our first fund (€170M), we have invested into 25+ outstanding companies spread across Europe and the US. If you take a closer look, you will see that our investment thesis is shining through each and every one of them. You will notice that this vintage has been especially influenced by waves such as the platformization of the economy wave and the data mania.