The Speedinvest founder on false headlines and pressure to perform

Speedinvest co-founder Daniel Keiper-Knorr tells us in a review of the year which headlines he found overrated in 2021. And who he would like to have lunch with.

The unicorns in his portfolio include Bitpanda, Tier Mobility, Wefox and Gostudent: Speedinvest co-founder Daniel Keiper-Knorr
Speedinvest

He is known for his easy-going manner, his humor and his success: Daniel Keiper-Knorr, co-founder of the Austrian venture capitalist Speedinvest. Keiper-Knorr started its first fund together with Oliver Holle a decade ago. Speedinvest is now the undisputed top dog in Austria and known as one of the most important early-stage investors in all of Europe. Over the years, Holle and Keiper-Knorr and their VC have invested around 350 million euros in more than 250 startups – two thirds of the total risk capital in their home country.

In the Gründerszene annual review, the investor tells us what he is missing from Zoom conferences, what trends he has observed in the startup scene over the past twelve months and who he would like to have lunch with.

Daniel, did you discover a new hobby for yourself this year?

No. I’m happy if I haven’t forgotten my existing hobbies after all the lockdown.

What did you learn about yourself this year?

That you don’t have to fly around for every appointment.

But I learned something not only about myself, but about people themselves. Namely: if the external pressure is great enough, then a person is capable of achievements that were previously unimaginable. And that makes me confident that we will also solve completely different problems. We just need to maintain the momentum that emerged in 2020 and 2021.

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The unicorns in his portfolio include Bitpanda, Tier Mobility, Wefox and Gostudent: Speedinvest co-founder Daniel Keiper-Knorr

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Who would you like to have met for lunch this year?

I would have really liked to meet someone for lunch….

But if I did, I’d like to go out to eat with Elon Musk. To get an idea of ​​what the world will look like the day after tomorrow.

What did you spend the most money on this year?

For my family, for the food delivery service and the handling of my mid-life crisis…. 😉

How did you get through the lockdown?

With six kilos less on the ribs.

How would you describe the development of the startup scene over the past year?

The scene in Europe gained significant momentum in 2021 and may have developed faster and more dynamically than the other two major global regions, the USA and Asia. However, this trend already started in mid-2020 and is likely to continue into 2022.

What did you particularly miss this year?

The physical meetings with people and that special element of chance that is inherent in those meetings – especially at conferences. This cannot be compared with zoom.

What startup news would you have liked to read this year?

That the established European economy works more with technology startups, invests in them and also takes over and thus contributes to a “founder – exit – series founder” cycle. Because that is an essential part of a robust ecosystem.

And that the large capital collection agencies invest more in VC funds and enable their beneficiaries to participate in this asset class. This is also about democratizing our asset class and this is where I look to you, pension funds.

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Which company would you have bought shares in this year if it had been listed on the stock exchange?

When companies go public, most of the upside is already priced in, isn’t it? At least that’s what the early stage VC says!

But otherwise: I would buy shares in Red Bull. The company has been growing steadily for almost 30 years and the enormously strong brand is likely to continue to grow.

Which trend did you find overrated in 2021?

The headline, “US VCs will come to Europe in 2021” was a bit of an exaggeration. Because quite a few US funds have been active in Europe for a long time. I’m thinking of Accel, NEA, Balderton (formerly Benchmark Europe), GSquared, TCV – and I’m sure to forget a few. It was only when Sequoia and, most recently, General Catalyst opened offices in Europe that a little more attention was drawn to this longest development.