We talked to Arnas Bräutigam, the Co-Founder of AddedVal.io. They offer tailored intros between outstanding startups and verified business angels. The other side of the company, startupdetector, uses advanced algorithms to detect all startup-related activities from the German commercial register. Find out more about Arnas’ mission and how these two platforms interconnect.
1. Hi Arnas. Thank you for agreeing to do the interview. Could you please tell us about your background and connection to the startup world?
Sure. After getting my Economics degree, I worked in banking for about ten years. In the past three years, I helped build the digital startup team for the biggest bank in Berlin and discovered my passion for tech companies.
One question I often got from founders after opening a bank account for them was: “Do you happen to know any business angels?”. At the time, unfortunately, I did not have a good answer. But that changed.
2. You’re the Co-Founder of AddedVal.io, which offers tailored intros between outstanding startups and verified business angels. Tell us more about your mission.
The business angel ecosystem is very intransparent. The reason is that there are more than 10,000 active angels in Germany, but almost all are investing on the side and not as their main job. So they do not have a website or social media presence and do not attend all the conferences, etc.
Consequently, finding one or more suitable angels is tough for founders. It is still a very random and time-consuming process of contacting one angel first and then getting referrals to others. This can be challenging for first-time founders without an existing network and for angels who have just started investing. Platforms like Leapfunder help solve that problem.
AddedVal.io is obviously not the first platform to connect founders and angels, but we have a specific unfair advantage that allows us to grow quickly.
3. You are referring to the other side of the company, i.e. startupdetector, which uses advanced algorithms to detect all startup-related activities from the German commercial register, right? Tell us more about its benefits and how it interconnects with the angel platform.
Yes, exactly. Since 2018, we have detected all newly incorporated startups from the German commercial register. We are contacting and inviting them to our matching platform. At the same time, we also detect 30-70 new angel investments in the register every week and invite them as well. This ensures a constant dealflow of startups and new angels, which is important for an active platform.
Besides using the data ourselves for growing AddedVal.io, we also sell that data to VCs, institutions from the public sector, and other clients. Since all the data is based on the official register, the quality of it is very high and comprehensive. For example, we can already detect stealth startups or unannounced funding rounds, which allows our clients to be ahead of the competition who only uses startup news sites or data based on press releases.
4. What’s going well in the startup ecosystem in Berlin at the moment? What’s the ecosystem lacking?
After taking a hit in the second half of 2022, the Berlin startup ecosystem has recovered again in the first six months of 2023 with the most newly incorporated startups in Germany.
Berlin is still a vibrant and attractive ecosystem for founders, both nationally and abroad. We see a lot of international founders successfully setting up their startups here.
The city offers many opportunities, especially for the super-early phase, e.g., equity-free startup scholarships, public subsidies like the IBB Gründungsbonus, an excellent investor community, and a LOT of free events to connect all relevant players.
So, from my perspective, nothing is really lacking. But if I had a wish, it would be a publicly funded motivational and educational offer for aspiring business angels. Many people would have the means to invest personal wealth in startups but are so far away from the ecosystem that this possibility is not on their radar or seems too complex and risky.
5. What do you predict for the startup ecosystem in Berlin in the near future?
With the recent uptake in startup incorporations and funding, I can only predict a bright future for this city.
Thank you very much for sharing your story, Arnas. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
Join our network of startups & investors!