Bridging The Gap: Introducing Redstone’s VC-as-a-Service model
Thanks to the rapid mass distribution of digital technology, starting a new company has become easier and cheaper than ever before. The worldwide startup scene is growing rapidly, with millions of new companies starting off every year. While many of those startups fall through the cracks right at the beginning, other successful ones redefine the existing business landscape or even create completely new markets.
This narrative often gets reduced to a simplified, two-sided conflict: Rebel startups versus corporations. Two worlds, said to be separate from each other.
We at Redstone are the advocates for the power of technology and we are highly passionate about the game-changing potential of new businesses. We do not believe in any strict distinction between the accelerating startup scene and the long-established corporate sector. What we do believe in is the long-term potential of syndicating both. Our goal is to connect the existing and the new, driven by our own experiences, love and passion to found, build and exit companies.
We are Bridging The Gap.
Our VC-as-a-Service model brings global startups and leading corporations together. We leverage capital, networks and industry expertise — all combined with the decades-long entrepreneurial track record of the Redstone team.
We’re excited to launch this first article on Medium to give insights into our work and our future visions to you — regular updates will follow.
There’s no better way to start this series than with a short Q&A with Samuli Sirén, our founder and Managing Director:
Samuli, tell us about your life before founding Redstone, what’s your background?
I moved from Finland to Berlin in 1994 and haven’t left for long ever since. I started my first company in the financial service sector, something you would probably call a Fintech today. After building other Internet businesses in the first half of the 2000’s, I switched to M&A and worked on later-stage and buy-out deals and also headed the corporate venture arm of a large German corporation. In 2014 I was finally ready and I decided to use my previous experience to create my own startup again: Redstone.
How does Redstone differ from other venture capital firms? What’s the idea behind Redstone?
The VC-as-a-Service model is really the center of our business. We manage corporate venture funds from deal sourcing, deal execution right up to supporting the portfolio companies. That’s the LP structure. It’s important to say that on the startup side, we work based on normal VC terms and without any secret clauses or special strategic agreements.
How does the cooperation between corporates and Redstone look like?
Open and transparent communication is key to us. We also bring a high degree of customizability to each partner fund. We have investment professionals and data scientists in our team focusing specifically on different emerging industries and technologies, so we are able to specialize in the respective areas of interests for our partner funds.
What does Redstone offer to startups?
Here is where our business model makes the difference in comparison to other venture capital firms. We provide startups not only with capital, our entrepreneurial experience and support network, but with direct access to large corporations, therefore real-life expertise and unique industry knowledge. Startups are benefiting in two ways: Through Redstone, our network, operational assistance and experience and the corporate fund. In detail, this can take many different forms of advantages for the startup. From tapping into new distribution channels, to easier follow-up funding and long-term strategic perspectives.
Last question. Based on your personal experience as a founder, what is the most important advice you would give to entrepreneurs?
What should always come first is finding a topic the founder-to-be is passionate about. It’s hard and very time consuming to build a startup, so the entrepreneur needs to work with full commitment and confidence. If you don’t love what you do and the value your product brings, that’s even harder or almost impossible. What follows later on is endurance, utter determination and faith in you and your own team.