Simon is one of our General Partners working out of the German office, leading deals across Europe and the US. He runs the fintech vertical, but every now and then touches technical SaaS and consumer experience focussed companies.
I grew up as a kid on the internet in the late 1990s. With the first version of HTML, CSS, and the LAMP Stack, I started building websites for the neighborhood hairdressers and the family businesses of my classmates in high school. It is fair to say that I spent more time on IRC and playing Quake and Half-Life than with school books. While trading AOL CDs for the dial-up modems was still a thing, I was in the lucky position to have a 56k baud permanent internet connection at home already in ‘97 - and I was hooked.
Staffan and Simon
Since that time, the internet has been the redline throughout my student life, internships, university courses and what I do today - yet early on I had no idea how to make use of this passion professionally.
I gave being a paramedic, a photographer, working in an advertising agency, and a strategy consultant a try - but never truly enjoyed it. After graduating from university, I struggled not knowing what to do professionally.
Nicolas (Swan) and Simon
Only when I started working with Rocket Internet, I realized that combining my passion for technology and entrepreneurship could actually become a career full-time. Building digital companies became what I lived for during the next years. The experience I gained starting Foodpanda in Asia and HelloFresh in New York shaped my work as an investor today. It’s not as much about how to run big companies, but rather about my gut feeling of how severe a problem is. No company that makes it big, is without struggle and pain.
Peter and Simon
As an entrepreneur, I realized early on that I was really good on the first two kilometers of the race. Yet, building generational companies is much better compared to a marathon than a sprint. To be truly successful, you need to enjoy and master the pain of the other 40 kilometers. Watching the entrepreneurs I work with today transition from founder to CEO, underpins my decision to step aside from building companies myself and working with those who are built to master the marathon.
Sabina and Simon
As a partner to our portfolio companies, I shy from imparting entrepreneurial wisdom into the boardroom, but I help with guidance to differentiate between what is truly important to focus on. My goal is to be a founder’s first call. That’s not something you can add to a term sheet. It has to be earned – through trust, delivery, and being there when things are messy and hard. I don’t sugarcoat anything I say. The experience from having built and worked with companies between three continents of all shapes and sizes is what I try to bring to the table.
Opening the first Berlin Office
I connect most with product-driven founders who are fanatical about the world's need for their solution. For me, it is a luxury to work with some of the brightest minds who are challenging the status quo and building global businesses that solve problems for generations to come.
Come talk to me about fintech, fly fishing, home automation, interior design and sous vide cooking.
Fredrik and Simon
Mathis (Taxfix) and Simon
Matthias (Billie) and Simon
Johan and Simon enjoying a DJ performance by Carl
Michelle Obama and Simon at Bits&Pretzels 2023