I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and I am a better businessman because I am an investor”
I don’t aspire to compare myself to the great man, but I can validate that this quote does match my personal experience.As a founder, I’ve sometimes been criticized by VCs that I regard involvement in startups too much as an investment. Well, this is something of which I’m proud of. I am no less proud of the fact that I can support founders with my operational experience. Both have worked so well for me. I am an entrepreneur and an investor. I couldn’t do one without the other.
The difficulty obviously lies in a key element to success: focus.
My portfolio im 2015: 9flats, avocadostore.de, FLIO.
In 2015, I was a happy shareholder in 9flats, which I had founded, in avocadostore, which I had co-founded, and FLIO, experts in digital airport experience, which I founded in 2015. Fortunately, the 2 companies that I did not run myself were in very capable hands. This was a key component in a happy life back then (Thank you Mimi & Roman).
My portfolio early 2017: FLIO.
At the end of 2016, I had divested of my shares in 9flats when we had acquired Wimdu which we later sold to Wyndham hotels. Early 2017, more much more reluctantly, I sold my shares in booming eco market place avocadostore. This enabled me to focus much more on FLIO.
FLIO is a very big bet, which can yield phenomenal results for all stakeholders if it pays off: Passengers value guidance through airports, and if we work directly with many airports, we will be able to give them a better experience than Google or Apple. In October 2017 we announced that we have agreed to funding from Avi Alliance, an investor in airports.
Since early 2017, I’ve also structured my investment activities through Density Ventures. While I had only invested in 3 startups in the past 10 years, I have invested in 6 companies in 2017 alone. Why and how. I hope to detail here in my next post.