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Angel Investment Playbook

Who we are

Hello! We are Expedite Ventures. This is our playbook. It details who we are, who we work with and who we invest in.

Expedite Ventures is a Business Angel group of CTOs and CPOs. We support tech founders hands-on with our know-how and capital.

We’re nerds at heart, all passionate founders ourselves - some of us are still running startups. We have decades of collective experience in building and scaling technology companies.

We offer a true hands-on mentoring approach, which we think is at least as important as capital. That’s why we provide both - plus a perspective that typical business-oriented Angels and most VCs simply can’t provide.

We especially encourage those who are already engineering today’s technology to get into the drivers seat and start their own journey. We expedite their ventures in the early stages to become profitable and VC-ready. We particularly aim to support notoriously underrepresented groups in tech such as first-time tech founders, female founders and immigrant founders.

We started Expedite to give back and help a new generation of entrepreneurs starting sustainable tech businesses.

This is our playbook. It details who we are, who we work with and who we invest in - and guiding principles and values. As we continue to grow, we hope that these principles will serve each new Angel joining our club and every founder we potentially invest in.

So if you are new to Expedite, welcome. Although the goals in this book are important, it’s the ideas, talent, network and energy of our Angels that will keep Expedite shining in the years ahead. Let’s help others building great things.

This playbook is a living document. We publish the latest version transparently on our website.

Our Investment Thesis

As we are tech investors, we believe in tech. Any founder or team that …

… is our ideal fit.

But don’t sweat the details — we’d like to meet you. Show us what you are proud of and we will give you brutal honest feedback.

We feel obliged to follow these rules, when making a business decision:

Our ideal financing round

As being Angel investors in deep tech start-ups …

What can you expect from us?

What type of feedback can you expect from us?

We’re a CTO/CPO business Angel network. So we deeply care about your product - and we’re most comfortable providing feedback on:

And as said, we’re happy to make any introductions which might be helpful for you.

How are we different than the others?

We see the current Venture Capital landscape as problematic, favouring second and third time founders while neglecting the necessary mentoring and nurturing to make sure new generations of first time founders can emerge.

Sometimes, great founders or great ideas are overlooked or do not receive the required attention, because they don‘t fit the „right profile”, „aren’t there yet“ or simply don’t have the right connections.

That‘s where we step in: We favour first-time founders, regardless of their gender or background.

As many VCs in Europe and Angels are being run by business people, they intrinsically tend to support e-commerce and service businesses. We find it problematic that tech founders don‘t get the necessary attention and understanding they deserve, because as we all know: „Software eats the world“. Therefore, our collective strictly invests solely in tech companies.

We intend be an important addition to the existing ecosystem to support people who wouldn’t be heard otherwise. We work collaboratively with other Angels who aim to grow technology startups.

(Smart) VCs are our friends to help our ventures grow a later stage. We embrace cooperation with them and nurture our VC relations all the time. We actively work with them and help nurture companies applying at a VC who are not VC-ready yet: we expedite them and bring them back into the deal flow of the VC world when it‘s the right time. VCs even often ask us to a joint board seat, help them portfolio management and tech due diligences to collectively help the ventures to grow further.

In the end, we want to fulfil the promise many Angels and VCs do (but don‘t keep): We don’t just commit money but we rather behave like a hands-on co-founder — to help on topics like company culture, product, tech, HR, legal setup, or strategic steps.

How to pitch us

When you decide to pitch us, keep in mind that all of us share the desire to help — but we‘re also busy people. That‘s what you can expect — and what we expect from you:

If you‘re not yet pitch-ready and don’t have a deck or a demo, don‘t worry. You can always talk to us at one of our community events and share your ideas. Prepare to be challenged. :-)

We aim to be radically transparent: we promise to always give clear and brutal honest reasons, if we decide not to support your company. That’s the least we can do and the least you deserve.

Investment process

Here’s how we decide whether to invest or not:

What makes an Expedite Angel?

We reserve Angel membership for experienced entrepreneurs who know what it means to be in the front-line and make decisions every day. Each one of us is willing and able to spend their time giving back to the community, share their success recipes, mentor our investments, open their personal network — and share our values.

In the end, we are makers, not managers. And we agree with Ferdinand Piëch who once said in German: „Techniker können genauso gut rechnen wie Kaufleute. Und sie beherrschen die Technik. Umgekehrt geht das nicht.“ (“Technicians can calculate just as well as business people. And they are proficient in technology. The reverse is not true.”)

Each of our members will take the role of a lead Angel at Expedite for at least one of our ventures, making it „HER“ venture. Every mentoring Angel internally gets an additional amount of shares in her venture to reward the effort of helping with their experience.

Last but not least, we only do agree unanimously about the companies that we all decide to back. If somebody of us has doubts, there will be most likely a reason for it. The collective experience makes us stronger, leading to smarter decisions. In the end, we definitely don’t believe in the old VC mantra that only one out of ten companies make it - and the other nine don’t. We rather aim for for the opposite - at least nine of the companies backed by us will succeed.

Our values

We really dislike politics. We believe in brutal honesty, loyalty, radical transparency, directness and open communications/feedback. By being open about as many things as possible and making information public, we can reduce the threshold to get in touch with us and make collaboration easier.

It won’t work without collaboration, kindness and sharing — it’s impossible to know everything. And we don’t forget to say thank you as well as saying sorry. We discourage ego, but help others not to fail and rather enjoy other succeed.

For everybody we’re involved with, we’re — and that should go without saying — clear Anti Harassment and Discrimination policy against everybody — we believe in diversity. No matter the method of communication, it is expected that everyone will contribute to an inclusive and collaborative working environment and respect each other at all times. No form of sexual harassment, discrimination regarding age, disabilities, race, religious beliefs or sexual orientation will be tolerated at anytime and will lead ultimately to a termination of this relationship (at all cost).