The 3D Printing Investor – A talk with… AM Ventures
AM Ventures Holding GmbH has been an investor in the field of industrial 3D printing since mid-2015. The company has also invested in a few successful Munich startups –Dyemansion and Vectoflow are two examples.
Uli Langer, Partner Manager at AM Ventures, took time to answer our questions.
AM Ventures: The leading investor in 3D printing
Please tell us about yourselves!
We are the world’s leading investor in the field of industrial 3D printing. Our extensive network and our close relationship with EOS, the global market leader in the field, give us unique access to technology, experts and financing options.
Our portfolio currently includes more than a dozen enterprises that are also involved with 3D printing.
Do you have a preferred investment area?
We invest exclusively in the field of industrial 3D printing, also known as ‘additive manufacturing.’ We invest within the field, but also along the entire value chain: new materials, hardware, post-processing technology, software and automation.
A quick exit? No, thank you!
What kind of startup would you never invest in?
We are not interested in investments that reduce us to the role of a financial backer. Our network is our major advantage. If we invest, we only do so if the company will benefit from our network and vice versa.
As a consequence, startups that are getting ready for a quick exit are outside our scope of interest.
Do startups need to be worried about you getting too involved?
No. Our group acts according to the arm’s length principle. As long as everything is going well, we let our entrepreneurs act independently. We also would never force a company to cooperate with another company. What we do really like to provide is our support, which we then give with all of the energy we have to offer.
Which stage is the ideal time for startups to contact you?
Because we believe that no one in the industry has experience equivalent to ours, we like to get involved with companies as early on as possible – in other words, during pre-seed and seed rounds. That being said, our resources and partners are also available during more advanced rounds.
After initial contact, how long does it take to conclude a contract?
It generally takes somewhere between four weeks to four months. It depends on the complexity of the investment.
No-go factor: arrogance
Tell us about a no-go factor in a pitch!
Arrogance and pretentiousness. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs often try to hide their insecurity with feigned self-confidence, which then gets out of hand. We prefer hearing an open and honest portrayal of the situation.
When have you seriously miscalculated a situation?
As is often the case in life, a person can misjudge things or simply take a calculated risk, which can then lead to inopportune results. So far, though, being personally involved and having support from our portfolio companies has made it possible to deal with any kind of difficulty and find good solutions.
From an investor standpoint, what does the Munich startup scene do well? What could be improved?
What makes Munich special as a location is the access it gives to major technology partners who are able to deliver a high level of quality. Although it is already being taken advantage of on a broader scale, it certainly could be developed even further.
A more level-headed approach desired
It is appropriate and important for startups to receive venture capital. However, I would not mind seeing entrepreneurs be more level-headed. Instant money is of course very appealing, but in the long term it can cost significantly more than an investment made by a strategic partner. In addition to just money, that kind of partner is able to offer technology, expert knowledge and an enormous amount of patience.
Last but not least: whom should startups contact if they would like to meet up with you?
The communication within our team is extremely dynamic, and we always keep each other up to date. That means you can contact any one of our team members.