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Voice Message From… – Episode 5 – Yannick Oswald (Mangrove Capital

In the final episode of Silicon Luxembourg’s first-ever podcast series, Yannick Oswald shares which recent investment that he made for Mangrove Capital has excited him most and why he is bullish on European tech.

After four insightful voice messages from leading people of the Luxembourgish and European startup ecosystems, the fifth and final one features a truly pan-European venture capital investor.

As Principal at Luxembourg-based VC firm Mangrove Capital, Yannick gets to meet numerous entrepreneurs all throughout Europe every year.

Accordingly, he shared some interesting opinions in his voice message to Charles-Louis Machuron, Founder & CEO of Silicon Luxembourg, regarding industries that he sees a lot of potential in as well as why he is very excited about the future development of the tech startup scene in Europe.

This final episode of our short “Voice Message From…” podcast series is once again brought to you with the amazing support of The Office.

Sound on!

If you prefer reading Yannick’s opinion, go right to the end of this article where you can find the transcript of the episode.

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Transcript – “Voice Message From…” Episode 5 – Yannick Oswald (Mangrove Capital)

Charles-Louis Machuron (Silicon Luxembourg):

„Hi Yannick! As we discussed the other day, I’m sending you this voice message to quickly get your insights on how last year went for you and also to get your opinion on what 2020 holds for the European startup ecosystem from a VC point of view.

To cut it short: It would be great to get your answers on the following questions:

– Is there any investment that you did with Mangrove Capital in 2019 that you are most proud of?
– Being a truly pan-European VC – how do you see the current development of the tech ecosystem in Europe? How do you evaluate 2019, was it a good year for “Tech made in Europe”?
– What is your outlook for 2020, especially also in regard to the venture funding market in Europe?
– What major tech trends do you see developing actually globally for the new decade? What are you most excited about, and why? Looking forward to hearing back from you on this. Thanks a lot and talk to you soon!”

Yannick Oswald (Mangrove Capital):

„Charles-Louis, thanks a lot! Very excited to be part of this and to answer your questions.

The investment from last year I’m most proud of is a company called Qoorio, which is the latest venture of the Lithuanian founder of the European unicorn Vinted. And I’m so excited about Qoorio because the ambition is massive and it is essential to close the knowledge gap and change education forever. In essence, Qoorio lets you book and spend time with humans to access their knowledge. So if you think about it – Internet search engines open up a huge knowledge base to humanity but most knowledge is still hidden in various social bubbles and not accessible to most. Qoorio is changing that.

So I am very bullish on European tech as the ecosystem goes from strength to strength and we see this in the numbers. At first, there were companies such as Wix.com and Spotify finally created… the first tech giants that give Europe the necessary ambition and tech talent to create more in the future. Secondly, VC financing has increased more than six times in the last five years. And on top of that, international investors tripled their presence as well. And as a result, we’re witnessing a velocity increase in the creation of billion-dollar companies. So the number of unicorns tripling to about 100 in the last five years. 2019 has been a great year for European tech and I expect this trend to continue in the coming years.

I expect tech investors to become a little bit more cautious over the next year. And this is mainly driven by the stock market and private market performance of certain overvalued tech assets lately. And as a result, mainly consumer companies will have a harder time fundraising as investors will just be more revenue-focused. We at Mangrove, and I personally, continue, though, to be extremely bullish on the consumer space, especially as we’ve seen with ‘voice first’, which is probably the biggest platform shift since the introduction of the mobile phone fifteen years ago.

There are essentially three trends that I think will be extremely hot in the coming year and years. So first, I’m very excited about the recent developments in the voice space. I expect tech giants such as Apple to open up their platforms to third-party developers this year, allowing actual voice-first applications to finally come to market at an accelerated pace. Secondly, tech healthcare companies will continue to grow extremely fast, and this especially as the market finally realizes that tech can do a better job than humans in many aspects. And finally, the looming climate crisis will require everyone, countries, and institutions, to re-allocate capital to fight against a warming planet. So I’m extremely excited to see with what solutions entrepreneurs are going to come up with to save our world.

So, yes, these are my thoughts. Looking forward to hearing from you.”

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