Cross Ocean Fund

Investment Focus

The Cross-Ocean Fund focuses on pre-seed and seed stage companies from Europe that have a realistic chance of raising series A capital from a US venture capital firm in 12‐18 months.

Industry Focus:

  • Medtech companies particularly in the areas of Digital Health, Employee Wellness, Digital Therapeutics Digital Biomarker, Diagnostics Devices and Technologies
  • Software and Technology Services with SaaS or PaaS models with an emphasis on machine learning and data analytics.
  • Web 3.0 and decentralized technology platforms with an emphasis on Digital Identity, and Security.

Investment Size:

€50,000 to € 400,000 per portfolio company (averaging €250,000 per company), with additional allocation for follow-on investments.

Lasting Partnership:

Breakaway Partners will provide hands-on support to expand our portfolio companies into the US ecosystem both in terms of sales and fundraising opportunities. The below table summarizes the value provided for our portfolio companies:

Type of Value Description of the Value Additional Comments
Mentorship Even prior to to investing, COF Business Angels will provide mentorship to help companies with their product-market-fit, marketing and sales channel planning, business model development and fundraising strategy This will be an ongoing service to all portfolio companies. This service will also be made available temporarily to some prospective portfolio companies in order to wait for right timing or as a due diligence process. 
US Expansion Planning For each portfolio company, COF Business Angels will help founders prepare a 6-12 month plan to expand into the US Ecosystem, identify missing critical resource requirements and further fund raising activity.  The founders will take lead in this expansion planning. There will most likely be a need for product-market-refit and market entry planning specific to the US market
Recruitment of Key Personnel COF Business Angels will help founders recruit key team members required for the US ecosystem expansion, such as Chief Commercial Officer, Product Managers, Business Development Executives  The support will not be limited to help find these key personnel but also include negotiation of the terms of engagement, and legalization support 
Establishing Key Relationships Portfolio companies will require key service provider relationships that might include regulative consulting, legal or financial services, commercialization or market research support.  COF Business Angels will help identify and negotiate with these providers. All final decision making regarding these relationships will be done by the founders of the portfolio companies. 
Future Fund Raising Portfolio companies will require further seed funding in the US after the initial phase. COF Business Angels and Breakaway Partners will take active roles in helping these portfolio companies raise funding from US Angel Groups or seed stage VCs.  COF Business Angels would make introductions to different funding sources and guide the portfolio companies in their dealings with the future investors. 
Strategic Partnerships COF Business Angels will make introductions for the growth of the business and value creation COF Business Angels will use their advisor base to get additional business support

Target Geography

We are targeting companies incorporated within the last 4 years in the Continental Europe, with plans to scale up into the US market and plan to raise Series A funding in the US Venture Capital Ecosystem.

Primary countries targeted are:

Netherlands Belgium Germany Latvia Greece
Denmark Luxemburg Finland Poland Cyprus
Sweden Switzerland Estonia Turkey

US Expansion Support

In order to have a high rate of success with rapid expansion into the US ecosystem, COF portfolio companies will be supported by the work of the interim Chief Commercial Officer (CCOs) that will be carefully selected for the needs of the portfolio companies.

The CCOs will not be able to do more than one CCO engagement at a time with a Cross Ocean Fund portfolio company. They will dedicate a minimum of 500 hours over the course of 6 months to get the portfolio company ready to launch their product and get to revenue stage in the US (if they are not already), start discussions with potential channel partners, put together the pitch deck and work with the founders on the first US fundraising round, and establish hiring and logistical plan of attack.

The hiring decisions of these CCOs will be up to the founders of the portfolio companies. X Ocean Fund strongly believes that having a very experienced CCO on the ground in the US will help the founders to stay in the Netherlands and be not distracted from their existing business. That is why all efforts to find a matching CCO that portfolio company founders will find suitable will be made.

  • The role of the Interim COO will be :
    • To work min 15-20 hours a week (ideally 25 hrs or more) with the team for working on the product-market-fit , commercialization and fund-raising
    • Sales/marketing plan per the US market structure of the market in question
    • Lead sales and business development efforts in the US
    • Help our portfolio on the fund-raising process from pitch deck
    • Prep, submission to investor groups, presentations
    • Identifying if a US co-founder will be needed to further expansion plans. And if so help identify and recruit the US co-founder

Interim Chief Commercial Officer Profile:

  • Former founder or core team member in a successful exit high growth company
  • Worked as a mentor or hands-on-advisor with high profile startups before
  • Familiar with sales, marketing and strategic business development
  • First hand experience with seed/pre-seed funding process
  • Current or Former Angel Investor

Figure 1: US Expansion and Commercialization Process

Selection Criteria

  • Passionate and committed founders: The early obstacles that a startup faces are to get funding, recruit talent, build products and gain early customer traction. Without passionate and visionary founders, a business will struggle to engage potential employees, investors and customers. Seed Capital is fuel for a fire, but the spark to ignite the startup journey must come from the passion of the founders. We prefer a founding team rather than a lone founder. Having commercial, operational and technical talent within the founding DNA of a company will give it a better chance of success and we look for teams that bring together all these elements. It’s important that the CEO is coachable and open to feedback.
  • Innovation and disruption: There are two elements that underpin an innovative business. Firstly the founders must have a unique insight about a market or problem. Secondly they must have a creative and innovative product or service that leverages this insight to disrupt the way a market operates or provides a creative and new solution to a problem.
  • US expansion commitment: There is no easy way to expand into a new market like the US. The founders should recognize the importance of the US expansion for the future funding, scalability and value creation, while being aware of the potential complexities and challenges in accomplishing that. Breakaway Partners will look for signs of commitment by the founder and the important investors, and try to avoid solely opportunities attempts.
  • Scalable: We are looking for scalable business models that can expand within the US market in the next 6-12 months, and feasible path to raise Series A led by a US VC in 18 months
  • Pass our 7T Evaluation: Team- Technology- Transformative- Terms- Traction- TAM- Timing.
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