Announcing our investment into First Momentum Ventures

Hustle, grit, ambition, performance, trajectory to greatness. Some of the words that describe the FMV team. Dive in with us and get to know one of Europe's most interesting contenders.
Transcript

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Few periods are as busy as the end of the year. And that is definitely true for us at eu.vc this year as we announce yet another investment that we’ve been working hard on behind the scenes throughout the summer and fall. Consequently, it’s with great pride and pleasure that we announce our angel LP syndicate investment into First Momentum Ventures 🥳.

We’ve known the team for a little more than a year now and have truly enjoyed following them and working with them throughout their raise. Excellent execution, great reputation from all who have come across them, and a team that’s set on a path that definitely looks like one that will lead to greatness.

We’re honored to have been invited along for the ride and will make sure that you will all get to hear much more from this team in the future. But now, we invite you to start by getting to know them via this spotlight article and pod episode 👀🎧

Table of Contents

  • TL;DR

  • Founding Story & Why Age Is Just a Number

  • Navigating Growth with Humility

  • Investment Thesis & Strategy of First Momentum Ventures

  • The Emerging Super Trend of Deep Tech

  • The FMV Value-add

  • The FMV Scout Network

  • Portfolio Deep dive

    • OneFive: The Vanguard of Eco-Conscious Packaging

      • KipuQuantum: Quantum Computing for the Here and Now

    • Daedalus: Revolutionizing Manufacturing with World's First AI-Driven, Autonomous Factories for Precision Parts

  • A Final Note on Signal

TL;DR

Overview: First Momentum Ventures (FMV), established in 2017, is a pioneering venture capital firm based in Karlsruhe, Germany, concentrating on pre-seed investments in European technology-driven B2B startups. They have been trailblazers in pre-seed venture capital in Germany since 2018, emphasizing a unique pre-seed strategy with a strong technical DNA. The team behind had its start supporting startups from a pre-seed campus incubator they started in 2015, which have collectively attracted over 500m € in capital​​​​.

Fund II Overview: The launch of FMV's €35M Fund II targets technical pre-seed founders in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and across Europe, focusing on sectors like Deep Tech, Industrial & Climate Tech, Dev Tools & Data, and Enterprise SaaS. They aim to build a portfolio of around 35 companies, targeting approximately 5% ownership with an average initial ticket size of €0.5m and keeping around 30% in follow-on reserves​​.

Investment Performance and Strategy: FMV Fund I (2018 vintage) demonstrates top quartile performance with a portfolio size of 27 startups, a portfolio multiple of 1.97, and a total IRR of 28%. There are already several clear outliers visible that have a large potential to grow into fund returners (i.e. returning the entire fund by themselves). The follow-on capital raised by these startups amounted to 150m€, highlighting the fund's success in backing scalable and investment-worthy ventures​​.

Strong recommitting LP base & co-investor roster: While all investors do their own homework, it’s hats off to the team for boasting a very impressive investor retention in Fund II (>80%! which is particularly significant in the current market). What is more, these investors have tripled their total investment volume in Euros and are complemented by globally respected institutions and HNWIs. And on the note of signal, their follow-on and co-investor roster counts marquee names like Khosla, Addition, Collaborative, Insight, Cherry, Earlybird, Cavalry, Tiny, Lakestar, Speedinvest, Pale Blue Dot, ByFounders, and Y Combinator.

Unique Approach and Value Addition: FMV stands out for its deep technical understanding and laser-focused pre-seed DNA. Their team of engineers & scientists, connected to leading European universities and industry decision-makers, brings a unique perspective to investing. They are known for rapid processes, candor, and risk-affine technical founder partnerships - true to their credo of “engineers at heart, investors by choice”. FMV's support extends beyond funding to include  a dedicated support platform for a holistic support tailored specifically to super early technical companies.

Investment Thesis: FMV's investment thesis is focused on supporting European deep-tech champions at the onset of their journey. They identified a gap in the market where tech founders face challenges due to a lack of true deep-tech VCs, risk aversion, and a limiting focus on SaaS by European investors. FMV aims to address these gaps by leveraging its technical expertise and network to support founders in overcoming these challenges​​.

Key Investments and Highlights:

  1. Kipu Quantum: Quantum Software Suite: A significant investment in quantum computing and also the first follow-on round in FMV II, coming in at a 3x multiple.  Kipu Quantum is showcasing FMV's early access to breakthrough technologies and collaborations with leading quantum funds​​.

  2. Unikraft: Cloud Optimization Platform: A co-investment with Fly Ventures and Mango Capital in a cloud infrastructure tooling enterprise that accelerates cloud workloads and reduces costs significantly​​.

  3. Daedalus: Redefining Manufacturing with AI: AI- & software-first factories, built by OpenAI's former Head of Robotics - demonstrating rapid scaling and significant market fit through FMV's industrial network. FMV was the first & only European investor in their pre-seed round.

  4. Gauss Fusion: European Nuclear Fusion: Engaging in the clean energy sector, this investment focuses on developing industrialized fusion power plants, indicating FMV's commitment to sustainable technologies​​. FMV also has been able to be among the founding investors thanks to their industrial network, allowing them to secure an unusually large stake for a venture in this sector.

  5. Project B: Payroll Processing Platform: A holistic data platform leveraging ML for payroll processing and automation. FMV identified the company when it was still an idea in a solo founder's mind, brought an additional co-founder into the team and brought in Lakestar as lead investor for the subsequent financing round,  showing FMV's ability to spot and accelerate great ideas and founders extremely early. ​

  6. Turn2X: Decarbonizing Manufacturing: A venture in producing natural gas from green electricity and carbon to make energy transportable and decarbonize the manufacturing sector, demonstrating FMV's focus on scalable and impactful solutions for the manufacturing sector​​.

Network and Community Engagement: FMV maintains a broad high-frequency deal flow generation and a rigorous selection process, with over 35,000 sourced deals and about 3,600 screened deals. A significant part of their investment flow comes from their network and scout community, highlighting their strong community engagement and network-driven investment strategy​​.

Conclusion: First Momentum Ventures represents a strategic investment opportunity, especially for those interested in early-stage, technology-driven B2B startups in the DACH region. Their technical expertise, strong network, and proven track record in supporting startups from pre-seed to scale make them a compelling choice for investors looking to engage with innovative European startups.

Given their performance, unique approach, deep technical expertise, and perfect community fit with our approach to LP investing at eu.vc, we believe investing in First Momentum Ventures' Fund II presents one of the best opportunities currently available in the market to participate in the growth of Frontier Deep Tech Startups in the DACH region at the earliest stages.

Watch our conversation in full with David and Andreas from the FMV team 👀

Chapters

00:00:00 - Introduction to the European VC podcast
00:03:04 - Founding First Momentum Ventures
00:06:21 - Age and Qualifications in VC
00:09:28 - Staying Competitive in the Market
00:12:13 - Early Investment Advantage
00:15:41 - Building a Team of Smart People
00:19:02 - Expansion in Europe
00:22:28 - The Importance of Reflecting on What We Don't Know
00:25:43 - Success Rate and Fund Performance
00:28:41 - Doubling down on the success of the fund
00:31:42 - Building Relationships in the VC Ecosystem
00:34:46 - Investing in Climate Tech
00:38:07 - Investing with LPs and Recent Investment in Hio Quantum
00:41:10 - Investment Opportunities with Experienced Founders
00:44:13 - Investing in Precision Machine Parts Innovation
00:47:22 - Contacting the Speaker
00:50:37 - Europe: A Story of New Beginnings

Founding Story & Why Age Is Just a Number

The year was 2015, and within the halls of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)—renowned for its prowess in engineering and technology—a group of students dared to envision a new venture, one that would contrast the traditional trajectory of graduating engineers trooping into established German industrial giants.

In our episode, Andreas Fischer recounted those formative years with a blend of nostalgia and pride. As a chairman at Germany's largest student entrepreneurship club, his mission was clear: incite engineers to apply their talents in the startup world. The incubator they launched would become the cradle of invention for many startups, each sprouting and extending branches that would eventually bear fruits valued in the hundreds of millions, with exits boasting nine-figure sums.

While they first sought to ignite the imaginative potential of their peers, they would soon find themselves amongst industry giants and families of immense wealth. Welcome to venture.

But let’s not brush over the days too quickly, as it was from this fertile ground that First Momentum Ventures (FMV) took root. Their vision was fueled by international exposure, specifically trips to the vibrant startup ecosystems of the US, China, and Israel made lasting impressions that could not be quelled by promises of a calm life in the German Mittelstand.

Fueled by ambition, building in Germany often carried a tinge of frustration; the region lacked VCs with a technical focus, most rather searching for the next big consumer hit. FMV's resolve was to buck this trend, to be the fund profoundly vested in the complex, intricate world of deep tech.

In a spirited case of youthful naivety, bolstered by an encouraging Medium article surely by one of the many actors with a stake in increasing the presence of tourist VCs, the founding team believed that setting up a fund in Germany would be a straightforward endeavor, estimating mere weeks to launch.

Reality proved more challenging, yet their determination was inviolable.

Karma acknowledging the hustle as she so often does, one year later, FMV's first fund, worth €5m, went live in 2018, marking a significant milestone on their journey toward becoming a household name in the European Pre-Seed landscape.

Understandably, age was an elephant in the room during FMV's nascent days. Facing initial skepticism, Andreas recounted on the pod how lawyers would look puzzled at the 21 and 22-year-olds aiming to helm a VC fund. But just as young startup founders have historically upended industries, FMV was steadfast in its vision. Performance, not age, would be the barometer of their success.

The underdog mentality became a rallying cry for FMV. The young GP team could identify with founders — their hustle, their ambition, and their yearning to make a palpable dent against all odds. A tenacity that would resonate with entrepreneurs across all ages and guide them beyond pitfalls and facilitate not only significant investments but the transformational success the greying lawyers failed to see.

FMV's trajectory soon attracted institutional LPs, and founders gave glowing testimonials. Co-investments from marquee names like Khosla, Addition, Collaborative, Insight, Cherry, Earlybird, Cavalry, Tiny, Lakestar, Speedinvest, Pale Blue Dot, ByFounders, and Y Combinator now adorn FMV's roster of co-investors. Clearly, the assumption that age correlates to VC competency was swiftly abated; in FMV's case, youth translated to a relentless hunger for impact, a deep immersion in the deep-tech ecosystem, and an indomitable will to crystallize their vision into reality.

Further bolstering their credibility, the team’s engineering backgrounds strike a chord with founders, fostering conversations in shared scientific languages that illuminate understanding and secure commitment. In our episode, David Meiborg reflects on the palpable energy when founders interact with FMV — a recognition of kindred spirits invested in the technical profoundness of their endeavors. Anyone who has been around Deep Tech founders will know that this is not the typical interaction between investors and deep tech founders.

An analysis of FMV's portfolio diversity shatters any allegations of age homogeneity. Adventurous postdocs, campus founders, and seasoned entrepreneurs with prior significant exits are all in FMV's portfolio, united by a challenger mentality yet differentiated by the breadth of experience. The archetype of founders in FMV's universe is not defined by birthdays but bound together by the common propensity for visionary creations.

Personally, having seen the team execute & work through their fund proposition, I’ve come to truly love their closing slide. It couldn’t resonate more 👇

Navigating Growth with Humility

Now mark you, the words above are mine. The LP Hypeman from eu.vc. Humility is not a word in my dictionary, at least not one that can be applied to the verbalization of my affection for the visionaries I back. The FMV team are rather different in their style, prompting a great discussion on the pod about going from a 5M€ Fund I to a 35M€ Fund II.

As David Meiborg stated on the pod: This is a watershed moment for the team—a transformative phase not just in scale but, more poignantly, also in introspective maturity. FMV must be more than just a firm operating on angel investing practices marked by autonomy and independence. Now, FMV must be a real team with all its interconnectedness, process-orientation, and organizational requirements. And it must be an embodiment of an ethos that garners the respect of the exceptional talent they work with daily.

Luckily, long before raising Fund II, FMV embarked on an internal transformation, from implicit understanding shared among partners to explicitly crafted processes and a cohesive organizational structure that amplifies the collective capability. From being a team of founders to a team of specialists, now counting individuals like Max and Ana, both accomplished Ph.D. physicists with pedigrees from MIT and Europe’s leading institutes, Max with an entrepreneurial background and Ana a leadership role in a prominent nuclear fusion startup.

Lena, their platform lead, has joined with a former journalist’s keen sense for storytelling and a founder’s firsthand experience of VC dynamics, symbolizing perfectly the multifaceted expertise FMV cherishes and requires.

As David Meiborg recounted on the pod, these additions are not merely augmenting the firm’s intellectual quotient—they are precious puzzle pieces in crafting a culture that is sensitive, cerebral, and supportive. We believe that this commitment to building a firm worthy of the intelligent, fervent individuals at both FMV and their portfolio companies will continue to induce an environment that will attract the best of the best.

The FMV team visiting a fusion reactor 🤓

Investment Thesis & Strategy of First Momentum Ventures

When evaluating investment theses of managers, we like to use the concept of GP-Thesis fit, meaning: How well does the thesis align with the GP’s unique edge. Represented beautifully by the matrix below by Samir Kaji.

Let’s look at this for First Momentum.

First of all, FMV have carved out the very early stage of DeepTech in DACH for themselves, as David Meiborg said on the pod:

"We want to be the number one address for technical founders in DACH and Europe at hour zero.”

Considering fit, it’s clear that investing early is no stranger to them. They started in 2015 by founding a pre-seed campus incubator, whose ventures have attracted more than 500M€ in capital. In 2018, they were the first European team to raise a multi-million Europe VC fund as a campus spin-off. And since then, they’ve built on top of this, establishing a stellar on-thesis portfolio, a large powerful scout network, and expanding their team with hires that complement the founding team.

Now, let’s look at Geo. Firstly, let’s cement that the DACH region is not just a hub for world-class research, but also a fertile ground for tech startups. The DACH region hosts an impressive number of startups, with more than 70,000 ventures, many in future tech sectors like deep tech​ and venture funding has showcased a robust recovery to near pre-2021 levels boasting a solid $2.9 billion invested by Q2 2023. And FMV marries this opportunity beautifully with capability as they’ve not only built their reputation and track here, they’ve established a 250+ person scout network to make sure they’re strongly connected to the leading European universities, research centers and industry decision-makers as well as building a LP base that includes the owners & family offices of some of the region's largest industrial companies.

What is more, most deep tech founders and investors would agree that there are few true deep tech VCs in the region & hardware companies are off the table for most investors. What is more, European investors tend to be more averse to technical risk than their counterparts in other regions and many operate with a SaaS-only mindset and a lack of deep technological knowledge and networks.

Now, we probably just pissed off a couple of people by saying this, and I know quite a few great deep tech investors in the region, so if we’ve spoken and I didn’t seem like I thought you were a douche, please don’t think that this was minded on you! But the truth is that what was said above can be said about most places in Europe and we truly just need more experienced investors committed to this space. The beautiful thing in the context of FMV however, is that there’s plenty of room to build a new challenger brand that can rise to prominence. And as the guys say in their deck: imagine where they can be in 5 years.

Finally, the team, just as any ambitious fund in Europe, leaves room to go beyond the regional confines opportunistically. FMV has already closed deals outside of the DACH region, bringing their technical expertise and partnering with leading co-investors in the new geographies. This is not only good for the current fund generation, but also leaves room to grow networks in new markets for future funds. Onwards and upwards.

The Emerging Super Trend of Deep Tech

One of the things we’re particularly excited about with FMV is that it’s a true Deep Tech Fund tapping into not only an underserved market, but also what we believe to be an emerging super trend of Deep Tech-venture replacing traditional SaaS-venture. This for multiple reasons, two important being that the playbook of SaaS and pure digital has been written, making it more and more well-fit for debt and other structures less expensive to the founders than equity and that the world’s most pressing problems will have to be mitigated by manipulating atoms as much as bits. A good read on this for the interested reader is Leo Polovets’ Betting on Deep Tech article here.

In fact, deep tech now accounts for a stable 20% of venture capital funding, a significant increase from about 10% a decade ago​​. And the LP argument to put money here is strong as well: performance is similar, if not better.

Needless to say, we’re going to be doing more investments in deep tech in the coming years at eu.vc

The FMV Value-add

The fund operates on strategic co-investments, preferring to be an active player in the cap table. Meiborg elaborates on the desire to not just be an "inactive co-investor" but one who can genuinely make a dent. To this end, FMV typically writes checks of approximately €500K delivering a "high value for money ratio" to their founders. True to form, the FMV team tracks their value-add and averages one qualified intro per day to their portfolio, proving a high level of proactive engagement.

The FMV value-add is built around three core areas:

  1. Go-To-Market Strategy: With sturdy C-level networks from industrial companies across Europe - both from their LP as well as general network - the team assists portfolio companies in finding their way to market and getting the first customers on board.

  2. Talent Matching: Leveraging both their C-level networks and scout network and access to leading universities, assistance in recruiting exceptional team members is a core pillar in FMVs value-add.

  3. Fundraising Navigation: Importantly, FMV has cultivated the reputation of being a qualifier fund to some of the best seed and series A funds in Europe and even the U.S. ensuring that their endorsement can fill a startup CEO's calendar with fundraising meetings. With follow-on and co-investments from the likes of Insight, Khosla Ventures, Addition, Earlybird, Cherry, HV Capital, and Speedinvest, Planet A, these are not empty words.

While these are the hard aspects of the FMV value-add, there’s one more thing we want to note. And it goes back to the point about humility from earlier. ‘Cos the FMV team acts with great humility towards their founders and the challenges they face. In a time where hubris has loomed large in venture, this is an aspect we always weigh highly. As the saying goes: A VC can destroy far more value than they can add. So knowing that the FMV team acts with humility is integral to us.

The FMV Scout Network

One place where the FMV execution machine excels is in their flawless execution of building a super powerful scout network that sets them apart from most contemporaries. Consisting of over 250 scouts across Europe, this network represents something truly extraordinary—a deeply engaged community of students, PhDs, postdocs, and startup operators operating as FMV’s eyes and ears on the ground, extending the fund’s reach into every innovation corner of the DACH region. This advance insight enables FMV to not only spot but engage with potential game-changing startups way before traditional indicators surface. On top of that, the community approach also gives FMV’s portfolio access to highly engaged and driven people - need to hire an expert on material science or a Founders’ Associate to help you run your fundraise? They got you covered.

FMV's scout network thrives on structure and active engagement, serving more than just a mere source of deals. It facilitates a two-way exchange of value where scouts get a firsthand look into the VC world and, in turn, play an integral role in FMV’s investment activities.

And it works.

So far, the network has led to:

  • 5x higher deal flow quality vs. outbound sourcing

  • 25% of closed deals and a third of the highfliers in their established portfolio

  •  >100 scouts graduating into operator roles at portfolio companies, breakout external startups or into investor roles at friendly VCs - building a strong alumni network for FMV.

  • 3 LP commitments originated by scouts + several former scouts that are now joining as LPs themselves

Seeing hundreds of VC fund decks every year, I can reveal to you that not a single fund doesn’t have their network as part of their famous edge. And sometimes, it’s OK that it’s a rolodex of informal connections. That can work. For some. But being a young team in the industry and building towards a franchise, the FMV team rightly acknowledges that a more systematized approach is needed. And one with higher ambition levels than a half-assed VP program. And one which is already operating and yielding tangible results rather than one which is more dreams than reality.

Note to emerging managers reading this: Designing the perfect venture firm is easy. The playbook is written and the sources of competitive advantages apparent to all. More so in venture than in startup land, the proof is in the pudding. Take a page out of the FMV playbook when it comes to flawless execution.

And exactly the successful execution and hard numbers to back it up mark a significant strength of the FMV team. And their ability to engage and leverage a big community makes them a great match for an eu.vc syndicate as this community-centric model dovetails seamlessly with our philosophy of creating access and inclusive opportunity within the venture capital sphere.

Just as we seek with our Angel LP syndicates to provide "mere mortals access to a world once reserved for the financial gods," (more of David’s beautiful words on our syndicates here) FMV's scout network democratizes the knowledge and insight that were typically the preserve of a select few within the tech and VC ecosystem.

FMV’s scout & network-driven strategy resonates with each stratum of our investment approach, starting with the strategic fit, where it aligns with our core principles and our desire to back trailblazing European VC funds. The network and the FMV team’s proven intent and ability to work effectively with communities as well as us, naturally harmonizes with our partnership fit, offering more than mere capital but an expanded avenue for mutual growth and value-add across our joint vision.

The scout network’s capacity for sustained and highly-engaged community interaction is a paradigm case of our community fit. It presents an exceptional opportunity for our community to affect our growing eu.vc family's fabric and, by extension, hopefully the broader European entrepreneurial landscape.

Bringing all this together, the deal fit with FMV is undisputable. Their distinct strategic advantage, embodied by their performance, their re-upping LP base, their reputation, their co-investors, and of course their scout network, directly enhances our investment goals, marrying our appetite for consistent performance and community-driven success. It's akin to perfecting a signature dish with just the right ingredients—the scout network and community mindset being that special seasoning that promises to elevate the entire flavor profile of our investment portfolio.

The alignment with our LP syndicate strategy could not be more potent as we pursue a shared mission of unlocking the full potential of European technical talent and innovation.

Enough about the eu.vc-FMV bromance, though. Let’s take a look at some of the portfolio.

Portfolio Deep Dive

Ah, I did say enough about the bromance, but let’s just start out by saying that the below companies encapsulate FMV’s twin objectives perfectly: advancing cutting-edge technology and pairing with best-in-class co-investors that amplify each venture's potential. Now let’s dive in.

one.five: The Vanguard of Eco-Conscious Packaging

one.five, backed by FMV, stands as a beacon of innovation in sustainable packaging, demonstrating the impactful potential of smaller funds in driving significant environmental change. This Hamburg-based circular biomaterials startup, co-founded by Martin Weber and Claire Hae-Min Gusko - both among the first 10 employees and in leadership positions at infarm -  has raised over €10.5M in seed funding, showcasing the confidence of major climate & impact investors including Planet A Ventures, Speedinvest, Green Generation Fund, Climentum Capital, and Revent.

  1. Innovative Approach to Packaging: one.five is revolutionizing the packaging industry by bringing novel bio-based materials out of the lab and into scaled production. They have developed a platform to help scale research to an industrial scale and built a large network of industrial companies with which to scale up the validated innovations. As their first batch of products they are developing high-performance, functional coatings for paper-based packaging solutions. Their primary focus is on replacing non-recyclable multi-layer single-use sachets, e.g. in cosmetics or food packaging.. This is part of their broader goal to tackle the highly pollutive $1 trillion packaging market by reducing carbon emissions & up to 76% with their biomaterials​​.

  2. Technology and Market Readiness: The company's machine learning platform identifies and assesses biomaterial innovations, transforming them into market-ready products. Their first products are already in scaled, industrial production. 

  3. Sustainable Impact and Industry Demand: one.five designs materials produced from bio-based resources and to be recovered and reused in existing waste streams, offering solutions that degrade safely in the natural environment without causing harm. The demand for such innovations is overwhelming, especially as FMCG companies seek assistance in transitioning from polluting practices to cleaner alternatives. one.five’s pipeline includes partnerships with some of the world's largest brands, demonstrating the pressing need for sustainable packaging solutions​​.

  4. Challenges and Potential in Sustainable Packaging: Despite the growing trend towards sustainable packaging, challenges remain, such as achieving price parity with traditional materials and navigating complex regulatory landscapes across different countries​​​​. However, with 400 million tonnes of plastics produced per year and significant consumer demand for sustainable packaging, the shift towards alternatives like those offered by one.five is both necessary and urgent​​.

one.five commitment to developing eco-friendly packaging solutions aligns perfectly with FMV's investment thesis and strategy, underscoring the fund's knack for identifying and supporting emerging leaders in sustainable technology.

Kipu Quantum: Quantum Computing for the Here and Now

Kipu Quantum is building the algorithms and software infrastructure to unlock scalable quantum computing in earnest. They are developing a novel algorithmic platform that optimizes existing quantum hardware and makes computing of real-world problems feasible now vs. in 10 years (the current best case industry assumptions). First Momentum Ventures (FMV) backed the Karlsruhe company together with Quantonation, a prominent VC in quantum technology, and Entrada Ventures in 2021 - by now Kipu Quantum has already closed their subsequent follow-on round to accelerate their development (already pulling Fund II out of the J-curve).

  1. Innovative Approach to Quantum Computing: The main limitation for the scalable application of quantum computing is the amount of available computing (qubits). Kipu Quantum is drastically cutting these requirements by multiple orders of magnitude by applying their novel compression algorithms. Their platform will tailor these algorithms to both the computing problem at hand as well as the specific hardware in use, thus taking a similar position as a today's hyperscalers (i.e. AWS, Google Cloud etc.) in the quantum realm. With this, quantum computing can be applied to critical problems (e.g. development of novel materials through quantum chemistry, drug development through advanced protein folding, or the optimization of highly complex systems) today. 

  2. Technology and Market Readiness: Kipu Quantum is already demonstrating its technology in several commercial and research collaborations in a diverse set of applications, bringing forward quantum computing by more than a decade compared to traditional timelines.

  3. Team: Kipu Quantum was founded by a very unique team for this kind of case, combining scientific expertise and commercial knowledge. CEO Daniel Volz holds a PhD in chemistry and built up the quantum practice at McKinsey and BASF. COO Tobias Grab (also a chemistry PhD) spun out a core OLED technology and sold the company to Samsung for a nine-figure exit. Last but not least, Enrique Solano - the scientific mastermind behind the invention - is a very prolific quantum physics professor that can draw on a large network of scientific collaborators and quantum computing talent. 

  4. Sustainable Impact and Industry Demand: Unlocking quantum computing for a scalable, industrial use is crucial to meeting some of humanities greatest challenges - from new materials for a transition to clean power to discovering new drugs to diseases that finally might become curable. Industrial enterprises commonly already have quantum strategies in place, but are waiting desperately for the technology to mature.

KipuQuantum's role in advancing quantum computing technology is clear, with strategic partnerships and investor confidence positioning them as pioneers in the field. Their focus on integrating quantum solutions into current industry practices marks a significant stride in transforming quantum computing's future potential into a present reality.

Daedalus: Revolutionizing Manufacturing with World's First AI-Driven, Autonomous Factories for Precision Parts

Daedalus is building AI- & software-first factories of the future - imagine a manufacturing plant for precision parts that is running 24/7, fully autonomous, orchestrated by AI, and operated by robots. They are helping industrial supply chains to grapple with the shortage of skilled labor by leveraging the recent advances in AI. Daedalus helps customers in industries such as semiconductors, energy, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and industrial machinery to produce their mission-critical precision parts reliably and at scale. FMV backed the company at the onset of their journey, with heavyweights like Khosla Ventures and Addition joining the ranks.

  1. Innovative Approach to Manufacturing: Daedalus' groundbreaking approach utilizes AI to operate the entire production process - from automated quoting, AI co-pilot assisted machine configuration to autonomously running material flows and optimizing production schedules. Critically, this enables a data flywheel that is incredibly hard to achieve in manufacturing settings due to usually closed-off systems. More data leads to more automation, leading to a better customer experience and ultimately more customers. This is especially crucial in areas where you’d normally depend on expert labor (e.g. transferring design into production, machine setup & operation, or quality control). Daedalus’ approach allows them to leverage these increasingly rare experts by pairing them with AI systems to learn and automate large parts of the process, leaving the experts to focus on high-value activities.

  2. Technology and Market Impact: Founded in 2019, Daedalus has rapidly grown and is already operating out of their first full-scale factory, delivering precision components to customers across various industries, including automotive, machinery, and medical devices - in large parts driven through FMVs industrial network. Their software-first approach to manufacturing allows them to scale at an unprecedented speed, deliver on orders extremely quickly, and operate at significantly higher margins than typical for this industry. The speed and reliability that Daedalus offers allows downstream customers to accelerate their production processes and reduce slack, saving millions in inventory & lost time waiting for a single missing component.

  3. Team: Daedalus was founded by Jonas Schneider who helped build OpenAI as their first software engineer and ultimately as their Head of Robotics. He brought on a unique mix of technical talent from OpenAI,, Stripe or Tesla and operators from leading high-precision manufacturing companies like Zeiss, Kuka, or Intel.

  4. Sustainable Impact and Industry Demand: Daedalus addresses significant challenges in the precision parts supply chain, characterized by fragmentation and inefficiency. By automating large parts of the  production process, Daedalus enables efficient, reliable, and cost-effective manufacturing while securing the industrial infrastructure against a shortage of skilled labor. Their technology also supports the increasing demand for product personalization and innovative design-led products, enabling just-in-time manufacturing independent of batch sizes​​​​.

  5. Global Expansion and Future Vision: The company is not only expanding its operations in Germany but is also planning to establish a network of factories globally. Daedalus aspires to create the core software for the next generation of industrial automation, indicating the potential for significant economic value by automating manual labor in manufacturing​​​​.

Daedalus' approach has already gained significant traction in the industry, showcasing its ability to revolutionize manufacturing through AI and robotics. The company's efforts in creating autonomous and flexible manufacturing solutions position it as a key player in the ongoing industrial revolution.

A Final Note on Signal

As we close, it's evident that First Momentum Ventures stands not just as a beacon of successful investing, but also as a symbol of collaborative excellence. With their impressive investor retention in Fund II (>80%!) who have tripled their investment volume in Euros, complemented by newcomers globally respected institutions and private investors, FMV has set themselves on a great path forward. What is more, their partnerships with prestigious firms like Khosla Ventures, Addition, Earlybird, Cherry, HV Capital, Speedinvest, Quantonation, Planet A, and Pale Blue Dot around their established portfolio companies further reinforce our belief in their acumen in sourcing and securing top-tier deals. Beyond these achievements, FMV's journey is marked by a sense of camaraderie and community, a testament to the value they place on relationships within the venture capital ecosystem and the fit with us at eu.vc.

Honored to be part of the flock diving in.

We're determined to create a community for investors tapping into the vast potential of Europe. LP investments underpin our approach, offering access to European tech at scale. We double down on the winners by co-investing and following-on into successful startups. 🚀🌟

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As a member of the community you get:

🌟 Curated investment opportunities, including access-constrained deals.

🤝 Privileged connections with inspiring people in the industry, building strong networks and relationships across Europe.

🔍 Proprietary insights into cutting-edge tech and emerging markets.

📖 Access to best practices, skill development, and valuable insights to enhance your investment expertise.

💸 Exposure and access to the asset class we all love - Venture Capital.

And the best part? You get all of this for FREE, as long as you remain an active and engaged member.

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