The European tech scene is growing and with it, its ambitions, says Point Nine Capital Founder Pawel Chudzinski. Here, he lists some of Europe’s most promising startups
Pawel Chudzinski, a partner at Berlin-based Point Nine Capital, is really excited about Berlin. He recently told Geektime, “Berlin is the biggest city in continental Europe and probably the coolest city. There’s a lot of art. It’s a city where people who are entrepreneurial like to live.”
Chudzinski’s firm today announced its new, €55M fund, Point Nine Capital III. The focus of Point Nine Capital III will be on seed and early Series A internet startups. But its focus will not just be Berlin.
“We’re a pan-European investor,” Chudzinski explained to Geektime. “We invest in SaaS and online marketplace startups.” For SaaS companies, Point Nine is also looking for startups in the United States.
Impressive track record, with a snapshot of European startup trends
With the closing of its third fund, Point Nine Capital now has a total of €100M under management. Point Nine Capital III has already invested in three startups, including French services marketplace StarOfService and Swedish cloud-based fleet management system Automile. Among the previous companies backed by Point Nine Capital and its partners, Christoph Janz and Pawel Chudzinski, are some well-known ones, including Zendesk, Westwing, Delivery Hero, Vend, Clio, Kreditech, and Fyber.
When asked about which countries in Europe generate the most innovation, he replied that, “In Europe, it’s not a country driven thing, it’s a city driven thing. Berlin and London biggest. I think London is 20-30 percent bigger. Berlin is growing faster. It’s on the trajectory to become the most significant tech city in Europe.”
But Chudzinski is not just excited about Berlin. He thinks the quantity and quality of startups in Europe as a whole is continually increasing. “There are more and more success stories coming out of Europe with significance far beyond the European market,” he reflected.
Aside from Berlin and London, “There’s interesting stuff going on in Paris, in Stockholm, maybe Barcelona and Madrid,” he noted.
In addition, he claimed that there is a lot of surprising innovation coming out of the Baltic countries and Eastern Europe.
Which startups are most promising in Europe?
Among the startups he said are “super interesting,” he named Delivery Hero and SoundCloud in Berlin, Paris-based Algolia, Krakow’s Brainly, which he called “the largest student community in the world doing homework together,” DocPlanner, as well as Berlin’s Remerge.
“Most of these are from our portfolio but not all,” he stated.
If he has any advice for startups, Chudzinski claimed it is to move to a tech hub.
“You can start your startup on a farm, but soon you need to move to a city.” You need the urban environment, the density of talent, the knowledge base.
Chudzinski also wants readers in Europe who are launching a startup to contact his fund, particularly founders of SaaS and digital marketplace businesses. Point Nine Capital III will invest between €100,000 and €1M in approximately 40 early-stage startups and will keep reserves for significant follow-on funding.