Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos - Mary Shelley
30 years after “information wants to be free” became an iconic statement, it is clear that Brand was right. The cost of information has plummeted and, while Moore’s law may be slowing down on the physical miniaturization of transistors, we have other breakthrough technologies (e.g. Quantum computing) lurking. This means that exponential growth may well be here to stay. Software companies continue to eat their way into all sectors of the economy and at Speedinvest we have been supporting the founders behind those companies for almost a decade.
One (not so secret) learning from this experience has been that SaaS and, more broadly, cloud software is consistently outperforming most other businesses. In public markets alone, cloud companies have doubled their market cap since 2020 to two trillion dollars. As such, it was probably about time that alongside our Deep Tech, Fintech, Marketplace & Consumer, Health and Industrial Tech practices, we dedicate a separate team to them. Introducing: The Speedinvest SaaS & Infra team.
It is impossibly hard to predict the future, but we try to see the present as clearly as we can. The software market is an ever-growing pie that is constantly re-sliced. Our thesis is simultaneously crisp and broad: We invest in the building blocks for modern software companies along the entire stack.
To visualize this, start at the top. The application layer is where B2B software encodes domain specific knowledge ranging from carbon intelligence (Sylvera) to CAD software (Shapr3D). We then move all the way down along everything needed to build, run, deploy, maintain and monitor software. We have invested in automated dev environments (Gitpod), WebAssembly runtime for super lightweight containers (Wasmer), and tools for effortless code deployment (Qovery). We also have a special passion for API plays that digitize old-school markets (Impala, Gigs) as well as opinionated ways to measure product outcomes (June). In conclusion, if your company either encodes domain-specific knowledge in a software application or used to build, run or secure modern software applications, we will probably want to talk to you.
The cloud economy’s growth rate over the past five years has been stunning, but we believe it is far from over. One way to look at it is to think of the layers of our above stack and their respective components as two adjacent arrays. The frontier for what is humanly achievable is shifting outwards as the result of their sum product.
Each new application accelerates the rate at which other applications can be built. With the cost of storage, computing, and energy decreasing, we want to back the founders in the second array in ultimately increasing the outcome for everyone. Like a recursive loop, we believe that backing those who are bold now will benefit the whole ecosystem. As a pre-Seed and Seed investor, we especially want to fund those who are unproven as first-check investors in order to start new loops.
We think, as VCs, that intellectual curiosity generally goes further than deep domain expertise. That said, we try to combine our learnings along the entire entrepreneurship journey to be the best sparring partners we can be. A small overview of who we are: Dominik is a lawyer-turned developer who built a leading open source sync tech. Audrey is a trained Neuroscientist who worked for the European Investment Bank. Markus, Fred and Michael all started, ran and sold (to varying degrees of success) venture-backed businesses. Yang is a huge automation nerd who honed his craft at a hedge fund before changing over into venture.
Over the next few weeks, we will deep-dive into some of the aspects of our thesis and the software stack, as well as showcase some of our existing portfolio. We also want to start a conversation with any founders out there who didn’t know us as SaaS investors yet. The easiest way to get in touch is to either reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, find us on Linkedin or Twitter (@fredhgnr, @DominikTo, @smi, @AudreyHandem, @YTR4N_ and @markus0lang).