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Aug
31
2017

European Business Angels more cautious about investing

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The Latvian Business Angels Network (LatBAN) representatives have just returned from the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) summer summit, and have collected.

When we think about events within the startup ecosystem, we usually assume they're created for the startups. However there are also educational events for investors, who are equally in need of constantly updating their knowledge to stay on top of their investing game. Plenty of new information, contacts and impressions were gained at the EBAN summer summit, proving the value and gained advantages of having joined the international organization. 

“First of all, EBAN gives opportunity to access the Gust database of startups and investors, free of charge. We have always emphasized that, being supported by EBAN, we can increase our capability fo further develop and progress the Latvian startup movement. Two years ago, we were visited by a representative from EBAN, who was very knowledgeable about co-investments by the state and business angels. Our business angels acquired very valuable experience and knowledge about the developments in other angel networks in Europe and the world,” says LatBAN Executive Director Aiga Kalbjonoka.

Of all the opportunities offered by EBAN, investors gain the most from EBAN global vision. It provides an international experience that can rarely be found at events organized in Latvia. It’s very interesting to learn about investment practices in Finland and Estonia. If the angels in Latvia prefer to invest larger amounts of money into smaller projects, there are serial investors in Finland who invest in a lot of startups, albeit smaller amounts. It would be very interesting to compare and examine these two approaches. It would certainly help reduce investment risks,” comments Aiga.

The overall global trend is toward smaller investments, as angels now evaluate every given project much more thoroughly.

Every year, EBAN organizes two major events: three-day investor meetings in the summer, where the most successful investment, most active business angel, the greatest contribution to the community, and other achievements are singled out. The fall event, on the other hand, is a two-day training course for investors. This year the event will be on October 16 and 17 in Munich, Germany. Investors from Latvia have also been invited to participate in the event, where they will establish new contacts and learn new experience.

“At the moment, Latvian investors are not very interested in international cooperation, but we intend to make such cooperation more active. We do understand that the first step has to be taken within the organization. We believe that the syndicate we are building is a very good platform to unite the investors. And we expect the syndicate to foster new cooperation opportunities among investors. Expanding into the international arena will be the next step. We will be trying to make international cooperation more active during the Digital Freedom Festival.” says Kalbjonoka.

In the near future, EBAN members, including Latvian investors, will be able to join the pending co-investment platform. It means that any EBAN member will be able to co-invest in a project that meets certain quality criteria. Likewise, projects from Latvia will have better opportunity to attract investors from Europe and elsewhere in the world.

“Investors have to learn and gain new experience, through successes and failures. The more knowledgeable the investors, the more precise criteria will they be able to lay down for a successful project. By acquiring international experience, investors also gain better understanding of what ambitions are right and how a team should work." notes Kalbjonoka.

EBAN is a pan-European organization that represents the early stage investor community, gathering over 150 member organizations in more than 50 countries. The organization’s five pillars of activity include:

  • Setting professional standards, training, and certification
  • Benchmarking, research and networking with peers
  • Lobbying
  • Raising awareness and capacity building
  • Cross-border syndication and co-investment support