The Austrian investor network primeCROWD recently coordinated a financing round for the startup Conntac. Die COMPUTERWELT spoke with Markus Kainz, founder and CEO of primeCROWD, about trends in the telco industry. […]
What innovations and start-ups does the telecommunications industry produce? Which trends can be identified?
There are two main trends in the telecom industry that have grown strongly in Europe over the past few years. The first concerns everything related to IOT (Internet of Things): here a lot of money is invested for research and in startups, especially in areas related to connectivity technologies. The second trend focuses on everything related to the expansion of 5G and the associated opportunities.
The topic of using artificial intelligence in the telecom industry is also growing from year to year – only it will take even longer for these solutions to establish themselves as a new standard on the market. However, this trend affects AI in general and not just the telecom sector.“
Recently, there was a financing round for the startup Conntac, which was coordinated by the Austrian investor network primeCROWD. Can you tell us more about this?
For companies like Conntac, whose sales structure is rapidly internationalizing and growing, we see the prime CROWD network as the ideal partner to connect Conntac with large companies that have not yet had such a solution on their radar. A lot of educational work is needed here and with a strong network you can get to the decision-makers of the company faster and easier.
How do investors see the telecommunications market in principle and how will investment amounts behave in general and in the telecommunications industry in the future?
In a survey that we conducted in 2020 with over 500 investors from our network, three industries in particular emerged that are gaining in importance due to the Covid pandemic. At the top is the topic of health and medtech, followed by impact and sustainability. Already in third place, the topic of digital networking and telecom came into play. In other words, investors are well aware that the pandemic is experiencing a strong hype in these areas in particular, and as a result, investments in startups in these areas have also tripled in the last year.
FinTechs such as Bitpanda and EduTechs such as GoStudent are making a strong showing in terms of investment amounts. How does telecommunications compare to these industries?
That’s right, we are experiencing extremely strong growth in terms of the enterprise value of many startups. Who would have thought five years ago that startups like Bitpanda and GoStudent were worth more than the entire Uniqa Group or Austrian Post AG? However, this trend is spreading through almost all industries that have something to do with technology – so of course the telecom industry is also benefiting, as topics such as cloud computing or cyber security are becoming increasingly important and a lot of money is being invested in innovative solutions.
What details should startup investors pay attention to in technology companies?
The list that needs to be considered is long. I believe the most important rule is to work with partners who are really professional and have in-depth knowledge in the start-up industry. It’s like real estate investment or stock portfolio: you don’t have to become an expert yourself to achieve good returns, but work with the right people. At primeCROWD, we see ourselves as a reliable partner and have set ourselves the goal of giving everyone access to professional start-up investment, even with small tickets.