Sapien, a Latin word meaning "one who knows". We founded SapienVentures on a simple belief that the most valuable companies of our time will be the ones solving humanity’s biggest problems. Our purpose is to support the world positive entrepreneurs, founders 'who knows' and committed to building these disruptive solutions. Together we can reimagine huge sectors of the global economy in ways that move the planet forward.
We place great emphasize on people and values. We hold ourselves and our companies to the highest ethical and moral standards. We select for, and cultivate, values-based leadership across our entire portfolio.
We practice humility by reminding ourselves we’re not perfect and we will make mistakes. We practice audacity by taking bold risks and investing in companies that we wish existed. We use our operating experience to help define the big vision and sweat the little details.
Ultimately, we see profit and purpose as a virtuous circle. In the right combination they form a flywheel that will deliver enormous financial returns while transforming capitalism in a world positive way.
HOW WE WORK
Our focus and mission: assisting entrepreneurs
We assist great entrepreneurs determined to build companies with lasting significance.
Knowing and doing what it takes to foster winners
We are in the company-building business, not the “deal” or “capital” business. We have a history of leveraging relationships to build teams, attract partners and customers and then–together–build billion dollar businesses.We are active partners who do everything we can for our companies and have not forgotten how to hustle. We get our hands dirty.
Strategic advice, creative ideas
We opine on and sometimes help refine business plans. We love working together to turn something good into something great. Are we working to protect against the worst that can happen? Are we leveraging the upside? Are we planning for assets as well as liabilities? When good isn’t good enough, we help you think outside the box, and we help you change the rules. Every business goes through pivotal moments – cave on a term or lose a customer, cancel the product line or keep it in market, make a key hiring decision. We have made most of these mistakes before. Now, we can help or find someone in our portfolio who can help you think through what to do.
A direct, straightforward style
We prefer brutal honesty to hypocritical politeness. We seldom vote against management teams in our board roles, but we can have strong opinions. We will challenge you without confronting you. Once we pick a management team, we back it and don’t second-guess it. We are less about sweet talk and more about helping you build a business. We are definitely not about controlling ownership in your business.
You've got questions, we've got answers.
What stage we invest
Is it ever too early to contact Sapien about funding?
We love to meet ambitious founders as early as possible.
How should I get in touch with you if I’m looking for funding?
Via a warm intro - this always helps to give more context :)
DM one of us on socials / emails
By email at email@example.com
By the "Get investment" link on our website
At what stage do you invest?
I am pre-product and pre-revenue. Will you invest?
Does Sapien only invest in particular sectors?
Do you have deep domain expertise?
A visceral connection to the problem?
Are you making it your life’s work to try and solve it?
Is your vision changing the game?
Can you evangelise your vision to attract future capital and exceptional hires?
Do you have the commercial hustle and resiliency to pivot if needed?
And the self-awareness to constantly adapt?
Is it a big problem for a large customer market?
Are your execution processes (growth, distribution) scalable?
Can you build a category defining business?
Does your market have near unlimited potential?
Are there any industries that Sapien won’t invest in?
Tobacco, drugs, alcohol, porn, gambling or weapons - they aren’t for us.
Does Sapien invest in crypto?
Yes we do. Blockchain is one of the most fundamental innovations we’ve seen in recent years and we had a successful ICO raise for one of our portfolio company and a handful of our partners sits on Blockchain Associations locally and internationally.
What qualities do you look for in a founding team?
Does Sapien invest in companies located outside of Australia or New Zealand?
How much do you usually invest in a new company?
Do you target a certain ownership stake in the business?
For the right business we can be as flexible as you need us to be. But we need to have enough of an ownership stake to dedicate meaningful time to your business when you need us to the most. All of our investments are minority stakes. We want you to be in control.
Do you always need to be the lead on a new investment?
No. We’re happy to co-invest with other great investors who can bring value to the table and have a strong track record of doing so.
Do Sapien Venture's partners take board seats?
Do we add any value at Sapien Ventures?
We are a community-driven VC. Sapien Ventures is part of Sapien Group which has other subsidiaries from Asset Management to Wealth Management and the Largest Angel Investor network in the world - Keiretsu Forum. Sapien Group runs Keiretsu Forum Australasia and New Zealand which is part of Keiretsu Forum Global. At the centre of everything we do is our community.