Strategic investors have much to gain from funding early stage water companies that developed solutions for specific challenges. Early funding of such companies is an attractive route towards developing future acquisition candidates that help shape the technology portfolios of strategic players in the water sector. For a start-up company, a partnership with a strategic investor can significantly improve the chances for success in a market as fragmented as the water sector. Not only does such a partnership deliver customer access, it can help keep the cost structure lean by providing internal resources and external networks.
Despite the above benefits, early-stage investments by strategic investors are also a balancing act, especially for start-ups. If a young company is seen to be too closely aligned with a strategic investor, this may limit its opportunities to work with other partners. Further tensions might be created from the cultural differences between a strategic investor and a young, dynamic innovator.
This panel will explore and contrast the strategy, approach, and success rate of leading strategic investors and private equity investors with a special focus on the unique challenges of investing in the water sector.
Moderator: Reinhard Hübner, Investment Manager, SKion GmbH