bm|t newsletter Q1 2022
»Invest beyond the crowd« is an important concept for our upcoming Investor Days Thüringen event (more about IDT is available below), and we wholeheartedly subscribe to the investment philosophy that investors generally discover more attractive opportunities off the beaten path, beyond the crowd.
In this Newsletter
Invest Beyond the Crowd
We believe that compelling investments should be able to meet BOTH of the following criteria:
- The investment is fundamentally attractive
- There is an evident reason why we, as opposed to other investors, have this opportunity to invest
Thüringen is an exceptionally attractive region for investments when looking through this critical lens.
To the first criteria, Thüringen has world-leading technology in many fields and is increasingly adept at converting its ground-breaking research into effective and valuable companies. The region’s world-renowned tradition and expertise in optics (Carl Zeiss / Ernst Abbe) has continued and expanded to many adjacent, related fields (photonics, robotics, life sciences, materials sciences, etc.) in which Thüringen now plays in the top leagues globally.
Regarding the second criteria, Thüringen, despite increased visibility in recent years, remains off the beaten path for most investors. No private institutional investor who invests tickets over 1 Mio. EUR has an office here and surprisingly few make the short trip from Berlin, Frankfurt, or Munich. Thüringen’s record results in terms of total venture funding and seven-figure rounds over the last years clearly demonstrate that investors are increasingly finding compelling opportunities here. Importantly, we foresee that there is further increase in investor awareness ahead, and we work diligently to accelerate this recognition of Thüringen as an attractive location for investment.
There are numerous reasons why Thüringen historically has not been more in investors´ focus. It has some genesis in Thüringen’s general modest nature, as entrepreneurs here focus more on developing innovative technologies and companies rather than beating a drum about their accomplishments. Traditionally, most entrepreneurs in Thüringen have also looked to local partners for their initial fund raises. We at bm|t have great respect for the responsibility that comes with this trust placed in us and strive to be an excellent partner for entrepreneurs, primarily by activating our extremely strong local networks and increasingly acting as a springboard to larger global investors.
While Thüringen has flown under most investors’ radars, bm|t has played a central role in funding the innovation economy here as the most active venture investor in the region. This unique market position has enabled us to build a portfolio of Investee-Partners over the last twenty years that is truly exceptional in its quality and variety.
In addition to being a leading investor in Thüringen, bm|t is tasked with increasing the amounts of private venture capital being invested here. Thus, we see it as our job to continually introduce more investors to the lesser-known, impressive companies in the region. In fact, we hope to do our job so well that one day we can call this market crowded, but that day still has some time to come – good news for those adventurous investors that voyage off the beaten path.
An easy step for any investor wanting to discover Thüringen’s investment gems, is to attend this year´s larger-than-ever Investor Days Thüringen on June 14th and 15th. Although we are expecting strong attendance after two digital years, we promise it won’t (yet) be overly crowded
Your bm|t Team
When we first visited >c‑LEcta four years ago, we sensed right away that this company was special and undergoing a transformation from a R&D services company to a proprietary product company, which we strongly believed would create great value out of c‑LEcta´s impressive assets in the space of enzyme development. Even our high expectations were blown away by how quickly the company´s transition gained traction with product revenues increasing approximately 10x in the three and a half years we were invested. Not surprisingly, the company´s strong revenue growth and unique capabilities drew significant investor interest. Kerry Group plc – a global taste and nutrition company based in Ireland and publicly traded on Euronext Dublin and the LSE – emerged victorious with its attractive bid for c‑LEcta. The strategic fit is excellent, and we are certain that c‑LEcta will continue to generate great value in the years ahead.
For more information about this important transaction please see the following press release:
bm|t sells its shares in c‑LEcta GmbH to Kerry and realizes a highly profitable exit
After last year’s extremely prolific investment activity, which witnessed financings for over half our Investee-Partners, Q1 experienced an expected slowdown in investment activity. This pause partially resulted from a requirement to reregister one of our most active funds after its planned investment period ended at the end of last year but thankfully was extended into 2022. This process has been completed, and we expect to return to a normalized pace of new and follow-on investments already in Q2.
IROIN (renamed from Crowd Architects) is now exclusively focused on its outstanding influencer marketing software suite, which it offers on a SaaS basis. Because advertising spend on influencers is booming, IROIN is well positioned to continue its rapid growth, having achieved a seven-figure ARR run-rate within only five quarters of launching its new offering. bm‑t was joined by private investors and operational partners in this investment round focused on turbo-charging sales growth and capitalizing on newly-availed, actionable market opportunities.
Spotlight on Innovation
On June 14th and 15th, Investor Days Thüringen (IDT), the premier early- and growth-stage pitch event in middle Germany, will be welcoming over 500 participants, with approximately 60 start-ups presenting their innovations and visions. We will host a live event – investment gems, networking, and beers & brats will all be in ample supply. We are looking forward to seeing you in Erfurt this June!