Michael Sidler has a PhD. In Molecular Biology, after which he consulted at the Boston Consulting Group for 5 years. Michael joined a Bio-tech startup and served in a Business Development and M&A role, after a number of acquisitions for the company. In 2007, Michael Sidler and some angels started Redalpine Capital, where they have been investing in tech and life science companies primarily in Germany and in Switzerland. Redalpine just closed the fourth fund, they invest in early-stages between the first seed round and Series A, after which they follow up successful companies until Series B.
Redalpine Capital IV has a size of €100m, the initial investment is a minimum of €300k and maximum of €2-3m, with a total investment potential of up to €10m per company.
Redalpine is a Europe-wide investor, so they tend to consider cases in Europe to enable them maintain close monitoring of the progress of their early-stage startups. Michael mentions that the fund focuses on a wide range of sectors generally in the field of software-based technology, including; Fintech, Health-tech, Prop-tech but also enabling technology platforms in Biotech.
The team gets most deals through their network, they also do proactive screening where they go out to find startup teams within their geographic scope. Startups have to get in touch with Redalpine through someone who is acquainted with the network, after which the team starts the screening process where they ask the startup questions and proceed to meeting the team. The startups pitch to their investment committee later in the process, physically or via video calls.
The most important investment criteria for Redalpine is the quality of the founding team, it has to have at least two co-founders running the company at the same level. They also need to be convinced that the relationship within the team is good. The founders also need to have majority of the shares.
Redalpine is able to make investment decisions as fast as in 2 weeks, however, prefers to be able to follow the founding team over several months, even years, before they invest. The team holds regular meetings and phone calls to monitor the progress of startups, in addition to getting monthly reports.
Redalpine is in business for more than 12 years and has had experience dealing with a vast number of startups. The most prominent name on their anti-portfolio is Spotify.
The most prominent startup from the fund is N26, which is a fintech startup focused on redefining banking. it has over 2m users, is present in most European countries and is about to enter the US and Brazilian markets. The most outstanding thing about their most successful startups is the team, timing and market size are just as important, but at the early stages, the team is the most important factor.
Michael believes startups should get in touch with potential investors very early on, even before they need the money, to increase their chances of getting funded. This helps startups to build relationships with investors, then when they are ready to get funded, things go much faster.