Closing the European
SME Tech Gap.
// Creating better access, earlier.
// Read more about what we do and why.
04 August 2023
Building Conviction in Uncertain Times
Repost of Marc's interview with Robin Capital
23 June 2023
Welcome @ āltitude, Torge!
Introducing our new Chief of Staff
01 June 2023
We are Closing the SME Tech Gap
Through Automation and Sustainability Technologies
02 February 2023
Maven Network by āltitude
It Takes a Village to Raise a Startup
08 December 2022
Trojan Network by āltitude
One fund’s rejection is another fund’s triumph
10 November 2022
Open Angel by āltitude
The Mighty Angel Long Tail
// We believe the European SME tech gap is real and underserved.
We see a remarkable opportunity to invest in scalable solutions that address the automation & sustainability requirements of SMEs in Europe within the next decade.
Why SMEs?Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in most economies. They represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide (The World Bank).In Europe, 24 million SMEs form the backbone of the economy, representing 99 percent of all companies in the EU. They employ more than 100 million Europeans and are the most important force for economic growth, innovation and job creation (Renew Europe).In the current macroeconomic climate, technology has become a crucial factor for survival, determining future growth and competitiveness for many businesses. 76% of European SMEs consider digitalisation a priority, and 54% of them see the need to adopt new technologies to remain competitive (British Business Bank).Accordingly, SMEs are being compelled to undergo digital and sustainable transformation, leading to a rise in early-stage startups addressing their specific challenges. We believe that great B2B technology startups start with SMEs as their primary target customers and either succeed in capturing massive market shares as an SME solution or grow into fully fledged enterprise solutions over time.Read more about our search for these startups here.
Which SME tech needs do we address?SMEs are in need of digital solutions across their entire value chain (see "Porter's Value Chain"). Especially in Europe, they are facing a substantial 'tech gap' due to missing SME-focused digital solutions, leading to a vast array of unrealized creativity, efficiency, and innovation.With āltitude, we focus on two major themes where we see the biggest needs and potential for value creation among SMEs to help them exploit their full potential: automation & sustainability.Given their total number, SMEs have a significant environmental footprint, which requires them to adopt more sustainable business models. To fight the climate crisis successfully, millions of SMEs globally need to transition to 'net zero' in the coming years. We are confident that this can be achieved by leveraging the right software tools and tech-enabled hardware.In addition to environmental concerns, SMEs are facing a multitude of other challenges related to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) dimensions of their businesses. In particular, we are aiming to support early-stage technology companies that help SMEs to manage not just their most critical environmental, but also social (i.e. diversity & inclusion) and governance-related tasks (i.e. company leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights).With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the implementation of solutions for the automation of almost any type of work-related process has become a fundamental prerequisite for long-term success of SMEs. The upcoming decade will see an ever-increasing acceleration in the development of AI and data-based applications that will affect almost every aspect of our lives.We strive for working with founders that help SMEs to optimise even their most critical business processes through software by enabling them to make data-based decisions, empower their employees to fully harness digital technology without coding skills, and build more resilient organizations, amongst others.
BETTER ACCESS, EARLIER
// We are productising dealflow.
Open Angel is a new way to leverage informal networks, by aligning economic interest in order to access high quality deals, earlier. Open Angel is built on the premise that great deals can come from anyone and anywhere. We aim to harness the mighty angel long tail or professional angel, enabling any angel and/or syndicate out there. Read more.
Trojan Network is about recycling the anti-portfolio of other VC funds. Just think about it, if a VC looks at 100 deals and ten happen to be great opportunities and they execute only one — what actually happens to the nine great deals, which just don’t fit to the respective VC? Well, this is what Trojan is all about — we want to see these deals. Read more.
Maven Network is all about maximising the value of ecosystem professionals working closely with early-stage founders helping them to turn their startups from metaphoric caterpillars to butterflies, as we believe it takes a village to raise a start-up. Maven Networks is not a one-way street — we seek to give and take, by creating mutual benefits for all stakeholders. Read more.
// We are an European early-stage B2B software lead ticket VC firm.
We initially invest up to €1.5 million in startups at the pre-seed & seed stages that are primarily located in the DACH & UK markets, focussing on automation & sustainability-related solutions for SMEs.Automation TechnologiesArtificial intelligence, process automation, cloud / data intelligence, no code & low code solutions and workflow technologies pay into solving most of the pressing challenges such as (i) value and supply chain (ii) hiring / D&I (iii) process optimization.Sustainability TechnologiesDecarbonization, energy & renewables, mobility & logistics, water and wastage and ESG management primarily pay into solving (i) ESG regulations (ii) productivity (iii) resource efficiency.The InterconnectionNotwithstanding, both automation and sustainability technologies have a strong interconnection with various dependencies, such as (i) artificial intelligence & water and wastage (ii) data intelligence & decarbonization (iii) workflow technology & ESG management.
Legal Form, Register Entry, Registered Office, Representation:
altitude Capital Management GmbH is a limited liability company (GmbH) under the GmbHG with its registered office in Berlin, registered in the Commercial Register (Handelsregister) of the Local Court Berlin Charlottenburg under number HRB 247308 B. Authorized Representative Marc Penkala.Information according to Sec. 5 German Telemedia Act (TMG):
altitude Capital Management GmbH
Ansbacher Strasse 65
10777 Berlin, GermanyContact Information:
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin)
Graurheindorfer Str. 108
53117 Bonn, GermanyDispute resolution:
We do not take part in online dispute resolutions at consumer arbitration boards.
DISCLAIMERaltitude Capital Management GmbH assumes responsibility as a content provider in accordance with § 7 TMG (Telemediengesetz) for its "own content" made available for use. While all content is thoroughly checked and regularly updated, altitude Capital Management GmbH cannot guarantee its completeness, accuracy, and up-to-dateness. Consequently, altitude Capital Management GmbH is not liable for any damages resulting from the use of this content.
Cross-references ("links") to content provided by external providers are distinct from this "own content." Through these cross-references, altitude Capital Management GmbH provides access to "external content" in accordance with § 8 TMG. altitude Capital Management GmbH is not digitally responsible for this "external" content since it does not initiate the transmission of information, determine the recipients of the information, or modify the transmitted information. Additionally, no automatic short-term storage of this "foreign information" occurs due to the specific calling and linking method employed by altitude Capital Management GmbH, thus absolving altitude Capital Management GmbH of any responsibility for this external content. However, please note that "links" always refer to "living" (dynamic) Internet presences of third parties.At the time of initial linking, altitude Capital Management GmbH assessed the external content to determine if it could potentially lead to civil or criminal liability. Nonetheless, altitude Capital Management GmbH is not obligated to continuously monitor the content linked from its website for changes that may impose new responsibilities. In the event that altitude Capital Management GmbH becomes aware, either through its own observation or notification from others, that a specific linked offer triggers civil or criminal responsibility, the company will remove the link, provided that it is technically feasible. The technical feasibility and reasonableness of such actions remain unaffected by the possibility that the illegal or criminal content can still be accessed from other servers even after its removal from the altitude Capital Management GmbH homepage.COPYRIGHT
The contents on the website of altitude Capital Management GmbH are protected by copyright. All content (texts, pictures, graphics, sound, animations, videos, etc.) and their arrangement on the website are subject to copyright law and other protective regulations. Usage of the content is permitted only within the limits of copyright law and any other applicable laws, with prior written consent from altitude Capital Management GmbH. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use of the texts and illustrations, even in part, without prior written consent from altitude Capital Management GmbH, constitutes a violation of copyright law and is therefore illegal. This includes, but is not limited to, all exploitation rights such as reproduction, translation, or use in electronic systems. Registered trademarks, trade names, and logos featured on the website of altitude Capital Management GmbH are subject to the relevant legal regulations, even if not explicitly marked as such at their respective locations.
Protection and proper use of personal data are of utmost importance to altitude Capital Management GmbH. Generally, you can visit our website without providing any personal data. Any personal data collected will be processed and used in accordance with German regulations for the protection of personal data.
altitude Capital Management GmbH may require your personal data to respond to your inquiries or provide you with access to special information or offers, such as newsletters or media subscriptions. Rest assured that we will not collect any personal data via our website without your explicit consent. In cases where such collection becomes necessary, we will inform you and seek your consent. Your personal data will not be sold or marketed to third parties by altitude Capital Management GmbH.LEGAL BASIS OF PROCESSING
The legal basis for processing operations involving your personal data depends on the specific purpose. If we require your consent for a particular processing purpose, we will rely on Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a DSGVO. When processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party, Art. 6 para. 1 lit. b DSGVO serves as the legal basis. Legal obligations that necessitate the processing of personal data are based on Art. 6 para. 1 lit. c DSGVO. In some instances, processing may be necessary to protect vital interests of you or another person, in which case Art. 6 para. 1 lit. d DSGVO applies. Finally, if none of the aforementioned legal bases are applicable, we may process your data based on Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO, provided it serves a legitimate interest of our company or a third party, while ensuring that your fundamental rights and freedoms are not compromised.TRANSFER OF DATA
We only transfer your personal data to third parties under specific circumstances. We will share your personal data with third parties if you have given explicit consent (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a DSGVO), when disclosure is required for the assertion, exercise, or defense of legal claims (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO), or when there is a legal obligation to disclose (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. c DSGVO). Additionally, we may share your data when necessary and legally permissible to process contractual relationships with you (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. b DSGVO).DATA SUBJECT RIGHTS
As a data subject, you have several rights concerning your personal data:1. Right to information (Art. 15 DSGVO): You may request information about the personal data we process, including details on the purposes, recipients, storage periods, and more.
2. Right to correction (Art. 16 DSGVO): If your personal data is inaccurate or incomplete, you can request its correction without undue delay.
3. Right to deletion (Art. 17 DSGVO): You may request the deletion of your personal data under certain circumstances, such as when the data is no longer needed for the original purpose.
4. Right to restriction of processing (Art. 18 DSGVO): You have the right to limit the processing of your personal data in specific situations, like when its accuracy is contested.
5. Right to data portability (Art. 20 DSGVO): You can receive your personal data in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format and, if feasible, transfer it to another controller.
6. Right to withdraw consent (Art. 7 (3) DSGVO): If data processing is based on your consent, you can revoke that consent at any time.
7. Right to lodge a complaint (Art. 77 DSGVO): You have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority if you believe your data protection rights have been violated.RIGHT OF REVOCATION
If personal data processing is based on legitimate interests, you can object to the processing under certain conditions (Art. 21 DSGVO). This right may apply to direct marketing as well.GENERAL COLLECTION OF DATA
When accessing our website or retrieving files, data related to this process is stored in a log file on our web server. This data may include your IP address, domain name of the referring website, files accessed, date, time, internet service provider, and your device's operating system and browser version. IP addresses are stored for data security purposes to ensure system stability and security (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO).COOKIES
We may send you information, news, or reminders via email with promotional content, but only with your explicit consent or as permitted by law. If you wish to stop receiving such emails, you can reply to the email to inform us of your decision.SECURITY NOTICE
We implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect your data from loss, unauthorized access, modification, or disclosure. However, we cannot guarantee complete data security in all situations, especially when communicating by email. For confidential information, we recommend using postal mail.CHANGES TO THIS DATA PROTECTION DECLARATION
We reserve the right to change this data protection declaration if required by changes in the legal situation, our online offer, or data collection practices. If your consent is necessary or if the declaration regulates the contractual relationship with you, we will only change the declaration with your consent.RIGHT TO INFORMATION
If you wish to know whether and what personal data we store about you, we will provide this information in writing, as required by law. Please contact us for any data-related inquiries or changes to your data.
altitude Capital Management GmbH, being an alternative investment fund manager as defined by the German Investment Code (Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch, KAGB), provides the following information in compliance with Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and the Council of 27 November 2019, known as the "SFDR," which pertains to sustainability disclosure requirements in the financial services sector.Art. 3 SFDR - Statement on Sustainability Risk Policies
altitude Capital Management GmbH acknowledges sustainability risks in its investment decision-making process when relevant. For clarity, "sustainability risk" refers to any environmental, social, or governance event or condition that, if it occurs, could potentially have a material negative impact on the value of an investment. When evaluating sustainability risks during the due diligence process for potential investments, altitude Capital Management GmbH makes decisions based on the specific circumstances and considers the principle of proportionality. This means that the company may either proceed with the investment while implementing appropriate measures to mitigate the relevant sustainability risk or decide not to proceed. Regular reviews of policies are conducted to ensure they adequately address emerging risks and investor concerns.Art. 4 SFDR - Non-Consideration of Principal Adverse Impacts
altitude Capital Management GmbH does not take into account the principal adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability factors. "Sustainability factors" encompass environmental, social, and employee-related matters, as well as considerations regarding human rights, anti-corruption, and anti-bribery issues. The company does not utilize sustainability indicators. altitude Capital Management GmbH cites the legal uncertainties associated with the SFDR provisions and the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), particularly concerning the consideration of adverse impacts. Due to the administrative burden stemming from these uncertainties, the company, in light of its fiduciary duty to the fund and its investors, cannot commit to this standard at present. However, altitude Capital Management GmbH remains open to reconsidering its stance on adverse impacts in the future, subject to (i) the establishment of best practices among market participants, (ii) clear guidance from regulatory authorities on the application of such rules, and (iii) a reasonably clear understanding of the consequences of committing to the consideration of principal adverse impacts.Art. 5 SFDR - Remuneration Disclosure
As a registered alternative investment fund manager under the German Investment Code (Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch, KAGB), altitude Capital Management GmbH is not required to have a remuneration guideline or policy in accordance with KAGB requirements. Sustainability risks are not taken into account when determining remuneration.
At altitude Capital Management GmbH our approach is multifaceted, with a compass on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), Sustainability, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.Description of Sustainability-related Principal Adverse Impacts:At present, we already incorporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in both our operational practices and investment activities.To strengthen our commitment to ESG compliance and enhance transparency, we have appointed an part-time ESG Officer as the primary contact for all internal and external ESG matters. This Officer will address inquiries from various stakeholders, such as employees, existing and potential investors, and media representatives.In order to further improve our transparency and consistency, we have decided to establish our own ESG policy framework. Additionally, we plan to implement an ESG management system during the course of 2021. This will enable us to provide more detailed information on our website, aligning with the requirements of the Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).Regarding portfolio management and investment selection, we will introduce a set of checklists to analyse ESG-related opportunities and risks. This assessment will cover both potential investments and existing portfolio companies. We will also ensure that our portfolio companies regularly document their adherence to ESG guidelines. Our ESG management system will be tailored to the nature and scale of our activities in the venture capital investment market. The system will include well-defined procedures and tools for identifying, assessing, disclosing, and mitigating any significant ESG deficiencies, particularly those falling under the category of Principal Adverse Impacts (PAI) as defined in SFDR.Once our Board approves the ESG policy and management system, we will publish more information about our policies on identifying and prioritizing principal adverse sustainability impacts and indicators, along with any actions taken or planned in response.As part of this process, we will also assess our adherence to responsible business conduct codes and internationally recognized standards and reporting practices. Furthermore, we will evaluate the extent to which our practices align with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.Article 5 of SFDR requires us to include a statement on how our policies align with the integration of sustainability risks in our remuneration policies. We will ensure that this information is appropriately communicated.
ABOUT THE TEAM
// We are former entrepreneurs, super angels and professional VCs.
We are a hyperlocal and seasoned team of investment professionals, startup founders and super angels, located in major European VC superclusters. We partner with exceptional and bold founders across Europe, addressing the pressing digitalisation challenges of SMEs.
Lessons LearnedAs a team, we highly value continuous learning and live by the principle of 'paying it forward'.Below are some of our most important lessons learned as operators and venture capital investors so far:
// Videesha: Community in business models is defensible.It’s difficult to replicate holistically or quickly, in some cases not even with money.
// Marc: Become intimately aware of your biases.Bias is your worst enemy, evaluate and re-evaluate objectively.
// Ingo: Prioritise outstanding complementary teams over business models.A great team can pivot and turn a mediocre business into success.
// Torge: Being kind is a superpower.Life is too short to waste it on negativity - treat everyone with genuine respect, also in business.
REACH OUT TO US
// We would love to meet you.
If you are a a founder, angel investor, or VC professional who would like to notify us about an investment opportunity that fits our criteria, say 'hello'!