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Impact Investor Capacura: “We Would Like Our Startups to Operate Sustainably”

Health, education and the environment — are the three areas in which the impact investor capacura specializes. In our interview, the team around CEO Ingo Dahm let us know which startups it prefers to invest in and which stage is ideal for a capacura investment.

Munich Startup: Please introduce yourself.

capacura: We are an early stage investment firm that makes direct investments from 200,000 to 500,000 euros in the fields of health, education and the environment.

We have invested a total of 3.5 million euros in nine startups in these fields so far. More information about our investments is available on our website www.capacura.de.

Munich Startup: What are your preferred areas of investment?

capacura: We invest exclusively in impact startups, meaning startups that offer a digital product and also generate social added value. We focus on the fields of health, education and the environment.

“An interesting solution that produces vast quantities of waste would be out of the question for us”

Munich Startup: What type of startup would you never invest in?

capacura: We would like our startups to operate sustainably. For example, an interesting product that produces vast quantities of waste would be out of the question for us. We act and work according to our values of integrity, responsibility, passion and respect for people and the environment. A founding team that can’t identify with that would not be considered for setting off on a common path.

Munich Startup: Do you scout for promising companies or do you have consultants for that?

capacura: We look ourselves. It is incredibly important for us to get to know startups personally to get a feel for them as people and for the work they do. After all, we want to work together for the long term, which means we need to get along. We like to invite startups to have a meal with us on our patio — it’s a very nice way to get to know each other better.

“We invest predominantly in the pre-seed and seed round”

We’ve also developed a very interesting AI-based evaluation tool. Startups can enter their information in the tool and receive a transparent evaluation, regardless of whether we end up working together over the long term or not.

Munich Startup: Which stage is the best time for startups to contact you?

capacura: We invest predominantly in the pre-seed and seed round, which means the startups have ideally successfully applied for their patent or received certification (for medical products), have their first customers and revenue (proof of concept) and a strong founding team at the helm.

Munich Startup: After initial contact, how long does it take to conclude a contract?

capacura: Our evaluation tool makes the process relatively fast. We’ve needed an average of six weeks from initial contact until establishing a contract so far.

Munich Startup: “To be successful, a startup needs to…”

capacura: … Impress in five categories: Idea, timing, team, business model and a strategic fit with us and our portfolio. We share the view of the experienced American investor Bill Gross that timing is the most important factor for success.

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Munich Startup: Tell us about a no-go factor in a pitch!

capacura: In general, we’re very sympathetic when it comes to pitches and understand that some are nervous or have to improvise to a certain extent. We’re all only human, after all. But when characteristics like arrogance or insincerity come into play or behavior that opposes our values, then that is an absolute no-go for us.

Munich Startup: Have you ever seriously miscalculated a situation?

capacura: How much cake our team can eat…no, seriously: We currently have the best example for a situation that no one expected. We were working on planning our monthly goals, and then suddenly the corona crisis came along and changed everything. Everything suddenly has to be planned differently: Our employees are working from home, some customers are hitting the brakes in terms of costs whereas brand new opportunities are opening up for some startups. Life simply isn’t 100 percent foreseeable.

Desirable: More events for startups in early stages

Munich Startup: From an investor standpoint, what does the Munich startup scene do well?  What could be improved?

capacura: The dynamic startup community, particularly with support from the two major universities LMU and TUM, are worth their weight in gold, as is demonstrated by the number of successful startups such as Flixmobility, Personio, Celonis and Stylight. It also has a very active startup community and many events like the Startup Safari, Werk1 Get Together, events at the Impact Hub, the Impact Investment Stammtisch and many more.

What definitely needs improvement is the networking between startups and investors — especially in the early stage — with more events like the Cashwalk where startups and investors have an opportunity to get to know each other and network in smaller groups. That’s where we want to make a contribution.

Munich Startup: Last but not least: Whom should startups contact if they would like to meet with you?

Startups in need of financing should feel free to fill out our online form directly or contact our Chief Unicorn Shepherd Ina.