Gina Domanig
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Emerald Technology Ventures Has No Geographical Restrictions When Investing in Businesses

This interview was held by Burak Buyukdemir and the article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a contributor author at Startup Turkey.

Gina Domanig is the managing partner of Emerald Technology Ventures, an industrial technology-focused venture capital fund. She is based in Zurich as well as most members of the team, but they also have a Toronto office. The fund invests in industrial technology companies in North America, Europe, and Israel, with a particular interest in Industrial IT, Energy, Water, and Advanced Materials. The team prefers to invest in companies who have made some commercial traction even in their early stages.

The fund is backed by major industrial technology corporations, who are very interested in open innovation, and working with startup companies. The fund receives approximately 1200 business plans a year and invests in 4 or 5 of those companies. Aside from investing in these companies, the fund connects the startups to their pool of investors.

Emerald Technology Ventures has no geographical restrictions when investing in businesses. The team invests in countries where they feel they understand the legal framework, have a healthy ecosystem, and co-investors that they can work with.

The fund prefers to invest in companies with some level of commercialization and revenue, but in rare occasions, they take a look at disruptive technologies that are still in their very early stage. In the first round, they invest about €3M, after which they reserve €3M – €5M for follow-up rounds of investment in a particular company. For really early-stage investments, the team invests €100K – €200K to see if the company is able to prove the value of their technology. Currently, they are investing out of a pool of €200M. However, this amount would grow over time as new investors join the fund.

Startups intending to get funded by Emerald Technology Ventures can either get introduced by someone on the team, or by sending an email to [email protected] on the website. Every startup application gets assigned to the relevant sector specialist on the team, if the application makes it through by the specialist, the startup gets presented to the partners and, if they agree, a thorough due diligence process is started. After the due diligence is mostly completed, decisions on funding are made and a term sheet is issued. The team consists of 20 people, most of which are specialists in different sectors.

Gina mentions that since the team’s focus is on industrial technology and values startup teams which have a member in their management who has significant industrial technology experience. This allows the startup to make better decisions regarding business model, pricing strategy, assumptions regarding sales cycle and technology adoption cycle, etc. Aside from this, the team looks out for qualities of the team, and attractive terms and conditions.


─ April 2, 2019