Oct 22, 2023

Pascal Stürchler in conversation with SSA

«Entrepreneurship is like rollercoaster ride», says Bloomhaus CEO Pascal Stürchler in his Interview with the Swiss Startup association. And he knows what he is talking about having gathered many experiences in the startup ecosphere himself – be it as founder in the ICT sector be it as one of the students at Harvard Business School.

What is your background and previous experience?

Over the past two decades, I have been deeply involved in Switzerland’s ICT sector, both as a founder and co-founder of various companies. This extensive experience has shaped me into an entrepreneur with a comprehensive skill set.

In the early stages of my career I worked in the financial sector and I gained valuable insights into sales, go-to-market strategies, and new business development. Additionally, I have honed my abilities in managing international, local, and virtual teams to deliver solutions and establish strong relationships. Reflecting on my academic journey, I’m deeply grateful for the transformative experiences at Harvard Business School and the Haas School of Business in Berkeley.

These chapters of my journey not only enhanced my understanding of innovation, entrepreneurship, and international venture, but were also profoundly shaped by exceptional mentors like Professor Jerry Engel, Professor Josh Lerner and Professor Felda Hardymoon. Their wisdom, guidance, and unparalleled insights not only deepened my knowledge but also ignited a passion for business within me.

What is your investment focus?

At Bloomhaus Ventures, we invest in three key areas driving the future of business:  Energy Transformation, Industry 4.0/Industry tech, and B2B Digitalization.

Combining these three topics, we enable sustainability, innovation and digital transformation.  Our investment footprint is deeply rooted in the DACH region, where we diligently seek out and support opportunities that align with our vision and mission.

Our experience enables us to offer valuable insights to startups working on deep transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, and more. Furthermore, we extend our support to areas like cybersecurity, Software as a Service (SaaS), and blockchain solutions.

Importantly, regardless of the technological domain, our investments are driven by a commitment to fostering sustainability and innovation for future generations.

Can you provide examples of successful investments you have made in the past?

Certainly! One notable example of a successful investment we have made in the past is the company SECJUR based in Hamburg. As the first investor in this innovative company, we had the privilege of being part of their journey from the beginning.

Secjur’s exceptional team and groundbreaking approach in the field of compliance management and data privacy attracted significant interest, leading to a highly successful seed round closure by the end of 2022. Esteemed investors, including Cocoa Ventures in London and Visionaires Ventures in Berlin, recognized the immense potential and joined forces to support SECJURs journey.

How do you typically add value to the startups you invest in, apart from capital infusion?

Our approach at Bloomhaus Ventures goes beyond monetary investment. As a team of technologists and founders, we are uniquely positioned to empower startup teams with the resources required for global success. For instance, we leverage our strong network in Switzerland, Germany, and Silicon Valley to aid startups in expanding into new markets by connecting them with co-investors, customers and advisors.

Moreover, we actively facilitate connections between startups and subject matter experts, which can be invaluable when overcoming technical challenges. As mentors, we draw on our decades of experience to guide founders in their journey.

Additionally, we assist startups in identifying tools and services for efficient scaling, leveraging insights garnered from other successful startups.

How many investments do you typically make per year?

Our focus isn’t solely on the quantity of investments; it’s about ensuring a meaningful impact. We typically engage in approximately ten investments per year, with a rigorous evaluation process to ascertain alignment between our expertise and the startup’s potential.

What is the typical investment size you consider for startups?

Our initial investment round usually involves an investment of around 200 – 500k CHF depending on whether we act as co- or lead investor. However, we approach investments holistically, securing funding for subsequent rounds as well.

Can you describe your due diligence process? What factors do you consider before making an investment?

At Bloomhaus Ventures, our due diligence process is thorough and comprehensive.

We consider multiple dimensions and engage in in-depth discussions with founding teams. In our quest for promising opportunities, we prefer founding teams of two or more co-founders. A commitment to establish robust governance structures and constructive interactions with the board are a prerequisite for us.

Equally essential is the team’s dedication to scaling ambitiously and fearlessly, setting the stage for transformative growth. Our due diligence is a testament to our commitment to identifying ventures poised for remarkable success.

How long does the investment decision-making process usually take?

We maintain an efficient investment decision-making process at Bloomhaus Ventures. Startups can anticipate hearing from us within 10 business days after our first interaction. The length of the complete due diligence process varies based on the preparedness and complexity, ranging from two months to potentially up to a year. In urgent cases, we are flexible and can expedite the timeline. For collaborative investments involving multiple stakeholders, more time might be needed naturally.

What level of involvement do you typically have with the companies you invest in? Do you take board seats or have observer rights?

As lead investors, we establish a deeper level of involvement with the startups in our portfolio. By securing a seat on the board, we actively contribute to the strategic growth trajectory of the startup.  In other cases or at later stages we normally have observer rights.

What is your typical timeline for exiting investments? Are you focused on short-term exits or long-term growth opportunities?

Operating through an evergreen investment structure sets us apart at Bloomhaus Ventures.

Unlike conventional venture capital firms, we aren’t confined to typical fund cycles. This flexibility empowers us to invest without timing constraints. Our emphasis rests on nurturing enduring growth prospects rather than quick wins.

We’re driven by a commitment to back our portfolio companies in reaching their milestones as planned, with an unwavering focus on lasting achievements, steering clear of hasty exits.

How many successful exits have you had?

As we are committed to the long-term development of our portfolio, we have not yet executed any exits. Our primary goal is to nurture the growth and success of the companies we invest in.

How important do you consider organizations like the Swiss Startup Association for the startup ecosystem in Switzerland?

Organizations like the Swiss Startup Association play a crucial role in fostering collaboration among like-minded people from diverse backgrounds. This collaboration is pivotal in nurturing groundbreaking innovations, which aligns perfectly with our mission at Bloomhaus Ventures to support and enable transformative startups.

Is there anything else that you would like to tell our community?

Entrepreneurship is undeniably challenging, akin to a rollercoaster ride.

At Bloomhaus, our approach centers on establishing a genuine rapport with founders, fostering an environment of mutual respect. We’re committed to providing comprehensive support across the spectrum – from business strategies to scaling operations, from personal and mental well-being to team development.

Acknowledging the demanding nature of this journey, we hold immense admiration for every entrepreneur treading this path.

Connect with Pascal on LinkedIn.