Founded in 2008, headquartered in Helsinki and with additional offices in London and Amsterdam, OpenOcean is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on data-intensive software companies. Inspired by partner Michael “Monty” Widenius, the founder of MySQL and MariaDB, the firm has €145 million in assets under management and tends to invest or co-invest in €5 million Series A funding rounds across Europe. “We look for scalable software solutions that are elegantly designed and easy to adopt,” says OpenOcean COO Niklas Rosenberg.
With two closed funds since its founding and nearly 30 active portfolio companies across Europe, the US and India, OpenOcean utilises PitchBook to stay at the top of its game and continue scaling internationally. Crucial to its successes, the firm uses PitchBook to identify and connect with limited partners, quickly uncover relevant investment opportunities and improve its automated deal flow process.
Three ways OpenOcean uses PitchBook:
- To identify and connect with fitting limited partners
- To quickly uncover relevant investment opportunities
- To improve its automated deal flow process
“PitchBook’s insight on LPs is second to none. From commitment history and background to current contact information, all the details we need are there—always."
– Niklas Rosenberg
Identify and connect with fitting limited partners
With PitchBook’s granular data on 29,000+ limited partners, OpenOcean can easily identify and connect with LPs. Rosenberg and his team hone their outreach with the platform to pinpoint LPs like institutional investors and family offices whose histories align with OpenOcean’s fundraising strategies and goals.
Not only does PitchBook tee-up outreach to limited partners—it also informs those discussions and in-person meetings when they occur. Knowing the applicable details of a prospective LP, such as their affiliated funds, mandates and preferred fund types and geographies, speaks to OpenOcean’s commitment to thorough due diligence. That level of preparedness is something many LPs find compelling and valuable.
“PitchBook’s insight on LPs is second to none. From commitment history and background to current contact information, all the details we need are there—always,” Rosenberg says. “Starting new conversations, I know in advance that the person I’m approaching is a truly potential LP based on a host of criteria. I’m confident, and I’m not wasting anyone’s time.”
Quickly uncover relevant investment opportunities
Across the VC landscape, OpenOcean’s tight investment focus—on data-driven B2B software companies in Europe—sets it apart from other firms. With a mission to invest and support successful companies in every corner of the continent, create long-term value and generate returns, OpenOcean uses PitchBook to identify European startups that embody its priorities.
“We target companies that embody a specific set of values,” Rosenberg says. “In addition to a clean investment focus, we look at a global mindset combined with social and governance (ESG) related matters.” OpenOcean—whose team of 13 includes professionals from Britain, China, Finland, Germany, Russia, and the US, with a share of 30% women—also seeks out investment opportunities with companies with diverse talent.
Keen to add value beyond its investment, OpenOcean relies on PitchBook to find and surface top talent for the companies it invests in. “As board members, we make sure our companies are defining the right strategies for themselves and that they have the right teams in place to execute on those strategies,” Rosenberg says. With actionable details on nearly two million professionals, including work experience, board seats held, past deals they’ve worked on and more, OpenOcean can connect its portfolio companies to people who will help them drive growth.
“Integrating PitchBook data into our existing workflow ensures that we score and rank startups appropriately so that we’re building out a robust pipeline."
– Niklas Rosenberg
Improve its automated deal flow process
Many of OpenOcean’s competitors also use PitchBook, Rosenberg says. “Because of that, paying for the license doesn’t give us a competitive advantage alone—it’s all about how we use the data we extract from the platform.”
Utilising PitchBook’s data feed, which allows customers to define which datasets they want in their systems and how often they’re updated, OpenOcean incorporates incomparable private market data into its workflow. The firm routinely generates a list of European early-stage software companies that have closed a round of seed funding in the past six months and filters that data through a set of investment criteria. OpenOcean’s automated deal sourcing and qualification minimises bias in its process, ensuring they won’t miss deals they may have otherwise overlooked.
“We want to identify the highest number of relevant deals,” Rosenberg says. “Integrating PitchBook data into our existing workflow ensures that we score and rank startups appropriately so that we’re building out a robust pipeline.”
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