Another team member of F-LOG Ventures is Tanja, our Managing Partner. As always, below you’ll find some interesting questions Tanja answered for us.
Tell us about your professional journey so far.
I came across venture capital by chance during my trainee program at the start of my career. Immediately excited, I went directly into VC. That’s why I’ve been on the investor’s side for quite a long time, and I still have a lot of fun working with founders and startups.
What excites you about working in venture capital?
Venture capital is all about new business models, people, problems, developments and challenges day in, day out. Things never work out the way you imagined, they always change and you have to react to them. This is what I like best — you never get bored. Sometimes things go well, sometimes not, but the cooperation between the founders, the team and the investors is always important. When you reach your common goal with the startups, it’s a great feeling.
What do you look at when investing in startups?
For me, in addition to the business idea, the team is super important. Ultimately, it is the founders and the core team that make a business model succeed. However, we as investors need to have a good assessment of the situation, which also requires a lot of experience and gut instincts. The teams naturally present themselves at their best during pitches and want to convince investors of their merits. For us, it is crucial to understand how the teams function internally and how they communicate in critical situations with their investors.
Other than that, the past development of the company, the KPIs, the technology, the customers, etc. are of course necessary for us. They give us a good picture and validate the team’s assumptions about the market, other investors and also customers.
Why did you join F-LOG Ventures?
I had the opportunity to set up F-LOG Ventures from the very beginning which I found very exciting, especially since I had already set up another fund. A lot of heart and soul always goes into this and you feel like a startup yourself, which is also good for an investor.
I consider F-LOG’s focus on the extended field of logistics to be an essential USP to enable us to really support our portfolio companies beyond money only. With the know-how, market insight and network that F-LOG can offer here, we see ourselves as a partner for startups in the logistics sector and this is what sets us apart from many other VCs.
In your opinion, what is the hottest topic in logistics at the moment?
There is a lot of movement in the logistics sector. COVID-19, in particular, has strengthened this trend. As F-LOG, we are currently looking at a number of topics that we consider to be extremely interesting. This includes supply chain resilience. Current supply chain problems, e.g., as seen in the automotive industry, show how important and fragile the supply chain still is. Here, many startups are rethinking existing processes and using innovative approaches to solve the problems. We see that the demand for new logistics solutions will continue to grow.
Are there any learnings from your professional life which you value in your private life, too?
Always be yourself and be confident in what you are doing, whether it is going well or not.
Are there any tips you would like to share with entrepreneurs looking for funding?
- Prepare well for an interview. Rehearse beforehand, maybe even get tips from experienced founders. The network is huge and helpful in this area.
- Show yourself as you are. Give your opinion without letting yourself be taken away from it because you are afraid to tell the investor something they don’t want to hear.
- Approach the situation as if you want to convince yourself as your biggest critic.
- Be open to new directions if the investor is the right match.