We are thrilled to release the first Morning Talks series issue with investor partners of Dealflow.eu. The aim is to present the impact of Dealflow.eu partnerships on the investment ecosystem and to have a deeper look into investors’ interest in EU-funded startups and projects. For this interview, we met with Jordi Ferrer Rendé, an Investment Director at Ship2B Ventures, who works closely with Dealflow.eu and participated as a jury member during our last e-pitching event on EU Health startups last May.


Can you describe your role in your organisation and tell us a bit about your background?

I’m an investment director at Ship2B Ventures where I’m responsible for the healthcare deals. My responsibilities include all the investment activities, from defining the investment thesis to generating deal flow, analysing opportunities, and presenting them to the investment committee.

Then, when the companies are part of our portfolio, I’m also very involved in the day-to-day challenges to support the companies in any operational issues they might have. 

When it comes to my background, I’m an economist with an MBA at IESE Business School. Finally, I have done a value-based healthcare executive program at HBS. 

I started my career in the financial sector, working in a transaction advisory services department for a big 4 company. Next, I moved to the healthcare sector where I spent 10 years working in business development and corporate development roles between Europe, the Middle East, and the US. I have been lucky enough to be in different fields within healthcare: pharma, IVD, and biotech. 

Being in venture capital closes the loop as it merges my two backgrounds.


What is unique about the company and what is the ambition behind it?

Ship2B Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in the best impact startups. As impact investors we seek to generate triple profitability: economic, social and environmental. Ship2B Ventures combine the best of the venture capital world with the impact world, maximizing the financial profitability of our investments with a clear intention to generate, manage and measure our impact. Currently, the impact investment team has managed 60 million euros and has participated in more than 25 rounds. We have also raised the largest impact investment fund for startups in Spain, BSocial Impact Fund, which has the support of the EIF, Banco Sabadell and AXIS, the venture capital subsidiary of the Instituto de Crédito Oficial.

Our unique approach is wanting to invest in the best social startups while at the same time co-investing with mainstream investors. In other words, we want not only to support the founders that are socially driven but also to contribute to the normalisation of impact investing by demonstrating that it’s perfectly possible to have both social impact and economic returns.


What key areas/markets are you currently looking into and which funding stages do you aim for?

We want to support early projects and therefore, we invest in early-stage companies, anywhere from pre-seed to Series A. 

In terms of which market or segments, we have three verticals at Ship2B ventures: healthcare, as mentioned earlier, climate change, and education.

We invest mostly in Spain. Although we have room for investing up to 20% of our funds all around Europe.


As an investor, what strengths and skills do you look for in companies when assessing a potential investment?

In my opinion, the single most important factor is the team. We want to invest in outstanding and well-balanced teams that show social intentionality.

When it comes to the people, we also want to find the balance between strong experts in their field, yet humble enough to realise when they are in a difficult situation, and they must pivot or listen to other people.

There are several other aspects we look at, but another one that is very close to the team would be the market opportunity: we should see a clear market need from the impact and social perspective, as well as the economic perspective.

Jordi Ferrer – Investment Director at Ship2b Ventures

Can you think of important investment achievements for you, so far?  Is there a success story that you can share with us?

We are a very young fund (it has been less than two years since the fund was created), so certainly the best is yet to come. Nevertheless, so far, the achievement we are most proud of is that for every single company we have invested in, we have brought with us, mainstream investors. Moreover, we are also seeing an increased interest from both, founders, and investors in learning more about impact methodologies.


Do you find it easy to bring EU-funded startups or scaleups into your ecosystem?

I think EU-funded startups prove a certain level of capability by their teams as there is a very competitive process that they have gone through, so they usually get a lot of visibility. 

We tend to like these companies more than others. So, for us, being an EU-funded startup is a kind of quality seal and we want to see these startups in our ecosystem. 


What efforts do you make to fill the gap between European companies and private investment (Private Equity, VC funds, infrastructure sectors, etc.)?

First, the efforts we make are that we always try to recognise them all, meaning that for our deal flow, we want to see all the projects that have been EU-funded. On the other end, we encourage all our companies, and not only the ones that we invest in but also the ones that we found interesting, to apply for some types of EU funding. We think that the greatest value of being EU-funded for founders relies on getting a lot of resources without the risk of losing ownership. 


What are the main challenges you face when looking to invest in EU startups or scaleups?

I would distinguish two types of startups, the ones that have already been backed by the private sector and the ones that have not.

In my opinion, the greatest challenges resonate when companies haven’t yet been financed by the private sector. The reason is that although you can find strong technical teams and projects, you might skip some of the important market assumptions or some of the things those private investors would normally look at. In other words, when companies only receive public funding, it creates a point of view differentiation between the founders and the private (investors).


Dealflow.eu is all about supporting innovation and providing a unique matchmaking platform.

Can you tell us how you have leveraged from it and its high-potential portfolio to increase visibility and scaling-up opportunities and What motivated you to join forces with Dealflow.eu in search of an investment match?

For us, it’s very strategic to become a relevant investment partner for the best projects and we find EU-funded projects a quality series, so we want to have a presence in those ecosystems where these projects are generated and Dealflow.eu is one of them.

We do want to be very visible on this platform. And we do leverage this platform as often as we can, to look for projects that fit our investment thesis. 

Dealflow.eu, it’s a source of quality deals, also validated by the path that these companies have gone through to get EU funding, which is particularly demanding. 

More about Dealflow.eu 

Supported by the European Commission, Dealflow.eu discovers and supports the most promising EU-funded innovators and connects them with relevant investors and corporates. The initiative was launched to help groundbreaking innovations secure the funding needed for their future commercialisation by offering them tailored support and matchmaking services. 

To learn more about Dealflow.eu, visit https://dealflow.eu/ 


Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them