We at Asgard love investing in Artificial Intelligence. When entering a startup financing round we prefer seed and Series A rounds. We are location agnostic, and will check your traction, strategy, market, team and business model.
Our investment focus is Artificial Intelligence
This means we are interested in pure software startups. Most likely we look for Narrow Artificial Intelligences to solve real world problems. We’re talking about machine intelligence, machine learning, AI Kindergarten, deep reinforcement learning, node networks, neural networks, dialog systems, adaptive systems, cognitive machines, autonomous agents – until we have an artificial (general) intelligence.
As far as software is concerned, the business model and the target market is essential. We enjoy both B2C (business-to-customers) and B2B (business-to-business). This could include the creation of a self-aware AI, a self-teaching chat bot or predictive analytics for lawyers, banks and industrial companies.
Here some ideas which would excite us very much:
- Cognitive Systems
- AGIs (Artificial General Intelligence)
- Alternatives to gradient descents for optimizing neural networks
- Faster error back propagations
Your funding needs
We do not support concepts alone, but need something a bit more substantial. Please give us access to your demo or show us some mock-ups.
You should ask for between €50,000 and €1.5 million of funding. Yes, we have done larger deals, but prefer to invest between pre-seed and early-Series A.
Our main geographical investment focus is Europe, however we believe smart minds are born everywhere. We know that great teams have a higher chance of success in technology hubs. It is therefore advantageous if your company is based in Berlin, London, Stockholm, Barcelona and Paris.
Traction, team and strategy
Traction is the sum of every tiny proof of concept. This means showing you have, or will have, a large untapped market and a high willingness for people to pay for your amazing product. If your product is B2C, we check your design for usability and a great user experience (UX). For B2B products we care more about the functionality, security, privacy and influence on the customer’s costs and sales. In general your product should provide a 10x value-add (Peter Thiel’s 4 rules to create a dominant business) compared to existing market standards.
As for teams, we don’t care if you are a first-time entrepreneur or a serial founder. What is important is that you have a strong CEO who understands the technology and can sell the product as well.
We like startups which start off in a nice market before they conquer the world. Sometimes it is the right strategy to stay focused, lean and win a monopoly quickly. However, if you are able to create a USP (unique selling proposition) with a lock-in effect for your customers in a huge market, we won’t stop you. Nevertheless, you should have the potential to be number 1 in your market within the next 5 years.
Don’t forget to earn money
And finally, we are looking for startups which will earn money in a way which is scalable. This is your business model. We know that this is often the hardest part. If you develop software, you should have very high margins, since your marginal costs are €0. If you develop hardware, we expect a gross margin of more than 50%. The best business models are repeat businesses with a high CLTV (customer lifetime value) and low CAC (customer acquisition costs).
Best time to start and grow a company
We believe there has never been a better time to start a company and reach billions of customers while doing so. Consequently, there has been a wave of technologies and startups based on the Internet and computing industries, both of which have enabled anyone to creatively disrupt whole markets.
The changes are apparent in everyday life. We live longer and are healthier than our grandparents’ generation. Technologies like computers, smartphones, wearables, SaaS and apps make us more productive and let us communicate everywhere and with everyone.
What we are seeing now is just the beginning. Considering we don’t even have flying cars yet, many innovations are still to come. This leaves unlimited opportunities for entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem.
One way to make a dent in history is to start a company with a 10x product and an amazing team. We aim to support the most ambitious and visionary founders and help them make their ideas a reality.
Thirty years from now we expect to see more robots than humans on Earth. There will be an additional 100 computers per head. Hardware, software and the human body will merge. Smart software will lead and support us humans, helping us gain free time, win personal liberties and hopefully conquer space.