Flashpoint held SummerSaaS VC conference with over 1000 attendees
Last year Flashpoint launched a new initiative called SummerSaaS — an online competition for seed and post-seed SaaS companies. This year, we went further and not only repeated the previous event but we grew it into a conference with interesting panel discussions around VC topics. The event’s statistics should speak for themselves:
- Over 1000 people registered attendees, twice more compared to the last year event
- over 80 top-tier VCs representing with $10bn+ of AuM,
- 24 selected SaaS companies from Emerging Europe and Israel
VC CONFERENCE PANELS
This year SummerSaaS has grown from a pure pitching competition to the real VC conference — simultaneously to the pitch sessions we had a series of panel discussions on key market topics:
1. Funding funds post-COVID
VC funding was going through the roof before coronavirus and it seems that the virus didn’t really stop investors doing what they do best. But how did Covid impact the landscape? With Zoom meetings and Hopin events taking over, will things ever go back to normal? With less meetings happening physically, did the speed of investing increase as well?
Participants: Dillon Yeh (Asante Capital), Ali Ufuk Demirci (IFC), Bjorn Tremmerie (EIF)
Moderator: Alex Konoplyasty, Flashpoint
2. Company set-up enabling secondary liquidity
Should future secondary liquidity be on the founders’ minds early on? What can the company do to enable secondary liquidity? What are the pros and cons? Considerations around primary vs secondary transactions and other topics relating to secondary liquidity to be discussed.
Participants: Mike Turner (Latham&Watkins), Cem Sertoglu (Earlybird), Scott Simpkin (Seedrs), Cankut Durgun (Marti Tech)
Moderator: Michael Szalontay, Flashpoint
3. Demystifying Venture Debt, a 360 degree overview
As Venture Debt is a relatively new product to Flashpoint’s geography, we continue with our mission to educate the market on the attractiveness of debt capital for technology companies. Demystifying Venture Debt panel aims to bring together various stakeholders to a venture debt investment transaction, including a company, a VC, a venture debt fund itself as well as a legal representative to get a 360 degree overview of the product and demystify some of the most common misconceptions about venture debt
Participants: Rudy Ruano (WTI), Haim Zaltzman (Latham&Watkins), Olga Kotsur (Mercaux), Inka Mero (Voima Ventures)
Moderator: Donatella Callegaris, Flashpoint
4. Technologization of VC
Modern VC firms are becoming technology companies of their own, integrating different tools into complex workflows and even building their own internal solutions. We will discuss what challenges are hidden under the hood of this process, what are the demands of VCs and what direction should we move forward.
Participants: Amanda Jones Floyd (Inreach), Gigi Levy-Weiss (NFX), Alex George (Credo), Shmulik Shelach (IVC)
Moderator: Márton Medveczky and Daniil Kuzovkin, Flashpoint
5. Exits through SPACs by J. David Stewart and Christopher Horton, Latham & Watkins
We wanted SummerSaaS to have a truly regional impact and thus over the course of the summer, we talked to more than 400 companies and enquired pitch decks from over 100 startups all across Emerging Europe and Israel to present their companies.
It was a tough job to select only 24 quality operating businesses to present across 5 tracks, as despite all of them being SaaS companies they had very different stories to tell, all from security testing for mid-market companies to healthcare consumer tech with embedded data subscriptions.
Overall, it ended up being a very diverse group of startups with 9 of them coming from Israel, 9 — from the CEE countries, 2 from Finland, and 3 from the CIS.
At Flashpoint we are trying to stay on top of the most vibrant business sectors around the globe. With the pandemic still in place we believe that a lot of the urgent problems of today are addressed by the following technology fields:
- Vertical AI — video replay
- Horizontal SaaS — video replay
- HealthTech — video replay
- Education tech — video replay
- New Economy/Deep Tech — video replay
Jury included the most prominent decision-makers (Managing Partners and Partners) of the leading investment funds, such as Sequoia Europe, SpeedInvest, Earlybird, Cherry Ventures, Runa Capital, Prosus Ventures, 500 Startups, OTB, Hoxton Ventures, Tiger Global, Viola Growth, NFX, State of Mind Ventures, Grove Ventures, Vertex Israel, Cornerstone VC, Day One Ventures, Credo Ventures, Launchub, Early Game Ventures, Lighthouse, Reflex Capital, Vitosha Venture Partners, BrightCap Ventures, FilRouge Ventures, South Central Ventures, Venture Friends, Market One Capital, Inovo Ventures, Innovation Nest Ventures, Portfolion, 3VC, Change VC, Tera VC, Baring Vostok Capital Partners, Redseed, Impulse VC, Genesis, IIDF, Icebreaker, Vendep, Maki and many more.
We’re very thankful to our colleagues, partners, and our portfolio companies granting prizes, and all of those who joined this initiative to support local SaaS teams and keep the market growing.
The prizes and perks for the participants included up to $10k AWS Startups credits (subject to AWS Active program), huge HubSpot discounts, and a complete Inbound Marketing Course from Hubspot’s top experts. The winner of the SummerSaaS 2021 got an annual license for recruiting automation platform from Comeet and free email outreach credits from Growbots plus 5 hours of remote sales coaching sessions from Chili Piper Team Chief Revenue Officer.
“We’re proud to have had our long time partners and friends from Latham & Watkins and Belasko supporting Flashpoint Venture Capital in this venture.
On September 2nd, after a busy summer with preparations, including going through over the 100+ pitch decks submitted by startups, we took our fellow VCs and founders online for the second series of pitches resulting in the Grand Finale session. The Grand Finale session judging panel was led by Natalie Refuah (Viola Growth), Sandeep Bakshi (Prosus Ventures), George Robson, Partner at Sequoia Europe, John Curtius Partner at Tiger Global and our very own Alexander Konoplyasty (Flashpoint VC) — all of who selected the hottest startup of the season.
It turned out to be BuildBen.io, an Israeli startup founded by Maxim Levin. BuildBen is a Multi-Cloud CI/CD booster that reduces pipeline run time from 60 to 5 minutes with one touch by automatically parallelizing existing build & testing tools across multiple Docker (or VM) containers.
Judging panels and individual track winners:
Ondrej Bartos, Managing Partner at Credo Ventures
Eduard Mika, Partner at Reflex Capital
Dmitry Galperin, General Partner at Runa Capital
Vitaly Laptenok, General Partner at Genesis
Sakari Pihlava, General Partner at Vendep Capital
Aleksi Partanen, General Partner at Icebreaker
Todor Breshkov, Managing Partner at LAUNCHub Ventures
Marcin Szeląg, Partner at Innovation Nest
Markus Lang, Partner at SpeedInvest
Enis Hulli, Managing Partner at 500 Startups
Andris Berzins, Managing Partner at Change Ventures
Hussein Kanji, Partner at Hoxton Ventures
Pirkka Palomäki, Managing Partner at Maki.vc
Michał Rokosz, Partner at Inovo Venture Partners
Zsolt Weiszbart, Partner at DayOne Capital
Max Gurvits, Managing Partner at Vitosha Venture Partners
Elina Halatcheva, Managing Partner at Brightcap Ventures
Apostolos Apostolakis, Partner at VentureFriends
Lisya Bahar Manoah, Partner at Catalyst
Marcin Kurek, Managing Partner at Market One Capital
Dan Călugăreanu, Partner at EarlyGame Ventures
Julien Coustaury, Managing Partner at Fil Rouge
Aurél Pásztor, Partner at Portfolion
Eva Arh, General Partner at 3VC
Dmitry Baburin, Partner at BVCP
Dmitry Kalaev, Partner at IIDF
NEW ECONOMY / DEEP TECH
Lotan Levkowitz, General Partner at Grove ventures
Filip Dames, Partner at Cherry Ventures
Adam Niewinski, Managing Partner at OTB Ventures
Michal Zálešák, Managing Partner at Lighthouse Ventures
Jan Kobler, Managing Partner at South Central Ventures
Stanislav Ivanov, Founding Partner at Tera Ventures
Sergey Kolesov, Partner at Impulse VC
Maya Pizov, Partner at Amiti Ventures
Many thanks to our great sponsors
Thank you everyone who took part in SummerSaaS 2021 and we’d love to see you next year.
P.S. If you are a tech entrepreneur who missed out on SummerSaaS but would still like to pitch to Flashpoint, please visit flashpointvc.com/contact to get in touch with us.