In this post, Giovanni from Specter, and I take a closer look at the M&A activity in the European manufacturing industry in the past five years. The motivation for writing this post came from the following two questions we wanted to answer:

  • How many software acquisitions have manufacturers done in the last years?
  • Do manufacturers also acqui-hire companies?

Based on our analysis, the immense majority of the acquisitions (87.3%) have been made in the “non-software” category. At the same time, it’s hard to draw conclusions based on the data if there have been a significant amount of acqui-hires in the…


In early September this year, 500+ shipping professionals met online at the Digital Container Summit organized by our portfolio company Container xChange, a marketplace for shipping containers. Over the last few years, Container xChange has also fostered a community of shipping professionals.

According to First Round’s State of Startup survey from 2019, communities are very high up on founders’ agendas:

Nearly 80% of founders reported building a community of users as important to their business, with 28% describing it as their moat and critical to their success.

We see the same trend within our P9 Family, where more portfolio companies…


At P9, we believe that our community plays a crucial part in our aspiration to be the partner of choice for tech startup founders in the world. Since our inaugural SaaS Founder Summit in 2012, we have organized numerous events, such as our yearly Founder Summit, our CTO meetups, Café Hours in Paris, and our European P9 Tour where we hosted meetups in cities such as Kyiv and London.

Covid-19 has changed our approach to community building since we had to press pause on physical events. So, like many others, we were quickly introduced to the idea of hosting them…


Since I started looking more closely at the manufacturing industry a couple of years ago, there has been a huge increase in the number of startups that try to solve problems in this industry. More precisely, I have added more than 350+ startups to my Industry 4.0 landscape and thereof 225 alone from Europe (as of September 2020) over the years.

I also cover the development of the manufacturing industry quarterly through my Newsletter but I haven’t done an in-depth analysis of the landscape above — until now.

In this post, I want to take a closer look at where…


The unexpected nature of Covid-19 has unveiled that many companies are not well prepared for disruptions among their supply chain and are re-evaluating how to procure materials going forward. In this post, I want to talk about the reassessment of supply chains triggered by Covid-19, the shift to verticalized procurement solutions, and why now is an excellent time for building B2B Marketplaces.

Covid-19 as one more trigger event for companies to re-evaluate their supply chains

When E&Y surveyed more than 2,900 executives in 46 countries across different industries in March this year, they asked how the Covid-19 event would…


How to succeed at very hard things and what we can learn from athletes

In the last few weeks, there have been countless tweets about the Last Dance — the Netflix documentary about Michael Jordan — in my (too biased) Twitter feed. Many people get quickly excited about people such as Michael Jordan, who can achieve things that are very hard to do, for many even impossible to achieve at all. This excitement is not limited to sports, and I think there are many similarities to being a founder and an athlete.

In this post, I want to connect…


Why we need more collaboration between our fragmented tech-ecosystems.

Countless articles and studies have been written about the power of regional clusters and tech hubs, where many of them cite Silicon Valley as the leading and most successful example. I think attempts to “copy” the Valley have been met with limited success in the past because it is about people, and people are just impossible to copy. Put differently, and as Paul Graham says:
What it takes is the right people. If you could get the right ten thousand people to move from Silicon Valley to Buffalo, Buffalo would become Silicon Valley.

While Berlin is not the new Silicon…


A framework to communicate your early enterprise traction to investors.

At Point Nine, we see a lot of startups every year that just closed their first large customers and therefore want to understand in detail how valuable the early traction is, hence if their pilots, prospects or the like are ready to buy.

My colleague Christoph summarized in this post already which criteria we’re looking at when we try to assess the degree of product-market-fit of an (Enterprise) SaaS company. There can be vast differences — pilots that can turn into a company-wide rollout in a few weeks after our investment or endless year-long pilots. …


At Point Nine, we’ve been very enthusiastic about B2B marketplaces for quite some time now — to the point that we organized a conference exclusively focused on this topic and published a “map” that showcases all major European B2B marketplaces that we could find. Also, we have been lucky enough to invest in a few B2B marketplaces already and want to continue doing so.

However, the industry as a whole is still at a very early stage when it comes to B2B marketplaces and we see new opportunities here on a weekly basis. A common mistake I observe is to…


I had the pleasure to do a presentation at the Hannover Messe — the world’s biggest industrial fair — about how I look at the industrial market from an investors perspective and what changed compared to 2018. I took this opportunity to also share some learnings from talking to founders and corporate people in that industry.

I’m a big believer in the space but I think we as investors, founders and corporates have to work more together to bring this sector forward. In addition, I would like to see corporates taking more risk and commitment to work with startups. You find the slides here:

Robin Dechant

Investments @PointNineCap. Technology Optimist. Deep interest in SaaS, B2B Marketplaces and all things industrial. Running and living in Berlin.

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