In June 2021, we launched Nauta Labs as part of our latest fund with the goal of identifying category defining enterprise software, infrastructure software and deep tech companies at the pre-seed stage in Europe. Through Nauta Labs we aim to support these companies by assisting them with investment, operational and strategic guidance so they may develop further and find a product-market fit. In addition, we will lead a follow-on round for a few of those in the Seed stage.
2022, a difficult year for everyone!
The global economic recession, inflation, and rising interest rates caused ripple effects across all markets, and the technology industry was no exception. In the start-up ecosystem, investment rhythms slowed, and valuations experienced a downward readjustment discouraging some good companies from raising capital.
Deep tech, Nauta Labs’ focus sector, likewise experienced a decline in 2022, with European Deep Tech start-ups raising $17.7B in 2022, 22% less than in 2021 (source: dealroom.co). Fortunately, the pre-seed stage has remained largely unaffected and resilient (source: Pitchbook). The quality and calibre of the founders still coming to the market to fundraise – some of which joined Nauta Labs – served as evidence.
Spotlight on the Nauta Labs start-ups
Eleven companies form part of Nauta Labs some have been with us from the start, while others have joined more recently. Here is a snapshot of their recent activities:
- Lupovis (Cybersecurity): A spin-out from the University of Strathclyde and based out of Glasgow, Lupovis offers two products (i) deception-as-a-service solution (ii) a listening and prioritising tool for cyber teams. They have several POCs underway, and they are working with several customers.
- Universal Quantum (Quantum Computing): UK-based, they are building the world’s first million-qubit quantum computer using trapped ion technology. Recently, they won a €67m contract from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to build the fully scalable trapped-ion quantum computer.
- Napptive (Cloud Computing): A Spanish start-up building a tooling platform to simplify the design, development, and maintenance of cloud native and edge-ready applications. They are currently fine-tuning their out-of-the-box solutions that when layered on top of existing software applications means customers can add cloud-native features without wasting any time or significant effort, helping their customers focus on their core value proposition.
- Net AI (AI/ML): An Edinburgh-based company which operates in the network management domain targeting mobile operators. Net AI aims to decompose network data and provide analytics which will help operators automatically perform resource allocation to reduce capex and opex, while increasing network efficiency. They have several POCs and industry exhibitions underway. Founder Paul Patras will attending MWC 2023 in Barcelona.
- Boxy (Open Source): A London-based open-source start-up, Boxy is the <code in a box solution> that gives any software company the opportunity to be enterprise-ready and compliant. They help other early-stage tech companies which often lack resources to be compliant with the security guidelines set out by large enterprises.
- Trackingplan (Data Infrastructure): A start-up based in Alicante, Spain that monitors and understands all your analytics across different systems. Trackingplan is your real-time single source of analytic truth letting business users and product managers identify misconfigurations, anomalies, and potential issues before they adversely affect a business. Trackingplan recently graduated from YC W22 batch.
- Mistho (Data Infrastructure): A European start-up enabling Europe’s first open payroll API. Mistho helps consumers easily access and securely share their employment and payroll data with counterparties such as banks, insurers and lenders. Several POC customers have been evaluating Mistho and they have signed their first customer.
- Mindflow (Cybersecurity): A French-based start-up offering a no-code platform to automate cybersecurity and IT operations and empower analysts’ capacities.
In addition to the above, we have three stealth mode start-ups.
- A zero-configuration security private network
- An open-source company in the AI/ML space within the model monitoring domain
- A universal compute fabric
From Labs to Seed and beyond
Although our pre-seed programme is not currently open to investing in start-ups, we are still interested to hearing from pre-seed companies in the space. Please submit your information on our online application if you want to be on our radar.
In the meantime, our focus will be on supporting both our current portfolio and Nauta Labs cohort as they enter new stages of growth. Also, we invest in early-stage companies – Seed to Series A – where we can lead with a €1 – €5m check size. Use this link to submit your pitch if you are a Seed / Series A start-up.