Connect is a thesis-led venture capital firm. We exist to invest in the best product-led companies in Europe at seed stage. Our investment thesis captures what we believe are the defining ingredients required to create the most valuable product companies. It can be summed up with the following statement:
We invest in opinionated products, crafted with love and loved by many.
We believe the best products have an opinion.
“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” We like to ask this question of products and the founders who create them. The product is the manifestation of the founders’ truths, beliefs and opinions, and the method by which they will transform these into a user experience.
When we say ‘product’, we mean software product. We don’t mean hardware, physical products, e-commerce, content, or tech-enabled services.
Not all Connect companies are pure product companies, but they’re all companies where the key value driver and primary user interaction is (or will become) a digital product experience.
We’re in the business of investing in outlier companies — those with the potential to create impact on a massive scale.
We strongly believe that software is the best medium to achieve this. We care about product because software is scalable, high-margin, constantly improving, and it is the only part of a company that every user will experience, making it the company’s highest point of leverage.
When product founders approach a problem for the first time, they see it with fresh eyes and come up with a new awesome way to improve or solve it. Their solution creates new opportunities, becomes a joy to use, revolutionises the user experience or just sucks less.
We care about the craft that founders bring to product development because the combination of art, skill, and process creates consistent excellence and compounding returns.
The best product founders are part artist, part scientist, and the best products are works of art built with rigorous methodology.
Craft is how a founder builds a product; love is why they do it.
- Love for the problem: founders genuinely enjoy spending time with the problem.
- Love for users: founders put users at the centre of the product design process.
- Love for product: product thinking is part of the organisation’s DNA. It drives the team’s beliefs, culture, and decision making.
We care about founder love because it’s the ingredient that ensures the company will always build a world-class product that solves a genuine problem for their users.
No matter how opinionated or made with love a product is, it’s nothing without its users — and users aren’t worth anything in the long run without love.
As you might expect from a venture capitalist, we’ve turned love into a set of numbers. User love — how much value or enjoyment a user derives from the product — can be measured with metrics like activation, retention, DAU/MAU, referral rate, NPS, conversion to paid and ARPA.
We care about user love because without highly engaged users and stellar business KPIs, a product is either a solution looking for a problem or a poor solution to a user problem.
This user love creates a powerful product flywheel that is very difficult to beat or replicate once in motion.
By many means scale. We’re in the business of backing outlier companies. The companies we back only lead to venture scale returns if the market categories they are addressing are large or growing rapidly. We also enjoy working with companies that make a big impact on the world. We started Connect to back companies that help create the world we want to live in, and it’s hard to change the world without scale.
We started Connect to back companies that help create the world we want to live in, and it’s hard to change the world without scale.
At Connect, we consider product companies to be the best route, and the most capital-efficient method, to achieve long-lasting impact on a massive scale.
Our thesis is not intended to be a complete set of sufficient conditions for success. There are many other attributes needed for an investment to go from a seed stage company to a sustainable enterprise, but many of those attributes are the same regardless of the type of company. Our thesis has evolved, and will continue to evolve, using our best teachers — the founders we back — as our guides.