Today, Point Nine Capital announced a new €75M fund, therefore we thought it as good a time as ever to put Founding Partner Christoph Janz into our VC interview hot-seat.
Point Nine Capital are a true pan-European investor and have recently become more and more active in the Nordics, backing companies like Automile and Xeneta. And of course, Christoph himself was the first investor in Zendesk. Christoph’s answers are short but insightful.
What start up verticals interest you most right now?
We’re focusing on two broad categories at Point Nine: SaaS and marketplaces. Personally I’m 100% focused on SaaS. In terms of more specific areas, I’m very interested in large “horizontal” categories like HR, procurement, finance or CRM, as well as SaaS for industry verticals like healthcare, retail and manufacturing. There are also a couple of themes that can be applied across different industries that I’m very interested in, such as the (continued) consumerisation of the enterprise, new user interfaces, automation and machine learning.
What are your biggest predictions for the next 12 months?
We published a collaborative post with predictions for 2017
in January. My prediction was that in SaaS “$300M is the new $100M”. What that means is that the fastest-growing SaaS companies are growing faster than ever before, while it will become harder for startups with slower growth to raise venture capital. On a related note, I think there will be more and more successful “not VC compatible” SaaS businesses
– companies that won’t get big enough to generate large “VC returns” but will become viable, profitable businesses.
On another note, I predict – or at least hope – that Trump will be impeached.
Are there any specific company ideas that you really want someone to build and would potentially fund?
I have some very high-level ideas e.g. around AI (will be the biggest value driver in software in the next 10 years) and some verticals (for example, someone has to bring healthcare software out of the stone age). But when it comes to specific company ideas, I wouldn’t trust myself to come up with the right ones. Instead, I’m looking for entrepreneurs who have a unique insight into a certain industry or problem.
If you could wave a magic wand and instantly have any imaginable solution to a problem you’re facing (personally or at work), what problem would you solve?
Hard to pick one problem, so I’d first pick the problem of “how do I upgrade my magic wand so that it can solve lots of problems?”. Then, with the ultimate magic wand at my disposal, I would first end poverty, disease and war globally. If I have another solution left after that I’d ask the magic wand to tell me where to look for the next SaaS unicorn. 🙂