What does Diaspora offer?

Diaspora is a semi-structured startup accelerator program that helps companies launch and scale their business in Europe. Click here to see our program details.

What stage does my company need to be at to apply?

You will need more than a hoodie and a powerpoint presentation. Ideally, you’d find us a few days after you’ve built your product with preliminary performance data. We get involved in any stage after this as long as you’re able to find us.

Why Berlin?

Berlin is the European and German leader in investments in startups: in 2018, venture capitalists invested around 2.6 billion euros in Berlin. Both, promising and well-established start-ups have emerged in recent years, such as Soundcloud, Gameduell, Mister Spex, Zalando, Helpling, Delivery Hero, Home24, HelloFresh, ZipJet, movinga, Auto1, Foodpanda, Raisin, GetYourGuide, or N26. Berlin is popular with foreign VC investors. This accounted for 69 percent of the total venture capital that flowed into Germany, says the " Startup Barometer" by Ernst & Young. Over 43% of founders are immigrants who moved from other countries to start a business in Berlin. Apart from all that, it has great public parks, cheap rents, a thriving English speaking community, great food and overall affordable lifestyle. There’s many Yodas that predict the next Silicon Valley. We won’t go so far, but having lived in San Francisco, here’s what we’re most excited about. Berlin feels like San Francisco 10 years ago - a grungy, unpretentious city with counterculture art, an underground music scene and an idiosyncratic tech hacker community.

Do you help companies expand to Europe?

Yes. While this is not a part of the structured program, we work with companies who can leverage our infrastructure and network directly. We will evaluate this on a case-by-case basis. Drop us an email on team@diaspora.eu to work with us.

Who can benefit from Diaspora?

Diaspora is for founders who want to partner with builders who are vested in your success. It is for teams who feel constrained by their current markets or simply want to leverage the attractive economics that Europe offers.

Can I come there and find my unicorn idea?

Unfortunately, no. We’re investing a great deal of resources in helping our cohort companies with their visas, relocation and growth efforts. We expect startups with a working product - ideally with some initial traction - would benefit most from our program.

Why are you asking me to relocate to Berlin?

Berlin is the English speaking, technology first, creative cultural capital of Europe, which offers a high revenue market, leveraged network effects of talent/capital and an incredible lifestyle. We love the technology being built around remote teams, but we still believe that co-location offers a huge leverage. It is also essential to be here to access enterprise customers and consumers who are located in the region.

But… don’t non-native speakers have a hard time in Europe?

Europe, yes. Germany, maybe. Berlin, certainly not. Berlin may be German, but the English language rules.

Will you help us with the immigration process?

Absolutely. Once you’re in, all you need to do is turn in a standard list of documents required by our immigration partners, and we’ll handle the rest. Our goal is to save you the time and effort around complexity of immigration from your plate and have you focussed on building your product and scaling your business.

Ok wait… who are you guys and why are you doing this?

We are passionate operators who like working in the growth phase of a business. We were incredibly fortunate to be a part of Uber’s early journey - witnessing the company go from 300 to over 17,000 employees and several tens of billions of dollars in global revenue. We both wanted to work on something that best leverages our experience and learnings at such a global hyper-growth company; while working directly with founders. Especially founders who have the ambition to build a global business. Having worked across 4 continents, we empathise with the pain of immigration and setting up your business. Our mission is to make this process seamless and unlock Europe for founders around the world.

What about an office space?

That’s on us. We will have a co-working space in Berlin with sufficient seating for your team, coffee and all the good kombucha.

Ok, but how big is Europe really?

It is BIGLY. EU remains the largest uniform trading block and economy in the world with a GDP per head of €25,000 for its 500 million consumers. As businesses consolidate their positions at the end of a 10 year bull market, we expect investors to have a heightened focus on revenue rather than active users. In this future, being in Europe presents a huge opportunity and leverage.

What is 101 on the term sheet?

We make a €120k investment for 10% in your company, either through equity or convertible note. This investment is for you to invest inyour business as you see fit, and there is no additional fees deducted from this.

How’s the program structured?

The program is only partly structured and tailored to every startup and founder’s individual needs. We pair this with a couple of talks/dinners of common relevance every week. At the end of the day, we are operators looking to be useful to you as you scale your business - and we will do whatever it takes for us to get you there!

© 2019 by Diaspora