In 2021, 12 Portuguese pre-seed startups received investments of €100,000 and €150,000 through Demium.
Demium invested €1.35 million in Portuguese startups last year, making Lisbon its second-largest hub. Clynx, MyCareForce and Ushowme are part of the 12 startups that received funding from the Spanish company. Of the five countries where Demium is present, Portugal is the second market where they invest the most. The goal is to continue: “Statistically we can aspire to unicorns,” says Diogo Patrão, programme director at Demium.
“These projects differ greatly from normal SaaS or marketplaces; the time to market is much longer and they require very specialised knowledge. This means that not many pre-seed and seed investors are looking at this area,” says Diogo Patrão, quoted in a statement.
Besides the startups invested being in the pre-seed phase, all are technology companies, which usually combine B2B and B2C business models, being the health area a common denominator to most.
The most important moment of Demium’s incubation programme involves presenting the project to Demium’s investment fund partner, Think Bigger Capital, to raise the pre-seed round, which only happens after the MVP (Minimum Viable Product), initial traction and validation of the product’s suitability for the market are guaranteed.
The vast majority of the Demium team is dedicated to this work of support and preparation, thus contributing to a success rate of 61%, in winning investment among startups. After the initial investment, the support continues, with a team specialized in the pre-seed to seed process, involving the growth of teams, generation of greater traction and conquering seed investments.
“Making a company grow enough to be attractive to seed investors is very difficult, which is why we wanted to dedicate a team exclusively to this phase. We want to help our startups throughout their life, we want to continue investing in them, and that’s why our investment fund provides follow-ons of up to €500,000 per startup,” explains Diogo Patrão. “We know, however, that a lot of resources and help are needed to build global companies, so we encourage and support startups to attract other Venture Capital Funds and Business Angels, to co-invest with us.”
“Still, none of this will be possible without the commitment and hard work of the startups themselves. We are all aware of the success funnel. A large part will fail, but some startups will achieve valuations above €100 million and statistically, we can aspire to unicorns,” Demium’s programme director points out.
With a total investment of €7.2 million in 68 startups last year, Portugal presents itself as the second country with the largest investment, among the five European countries where Demium is present. The Portuguese country is only behind Spain, where four of the eight Demium hubs are located.