While the combination of distributor and investor seems an unlikely one, the principals of 415 CAPITAL believe that their historic role as one of Germany’s leading distributors of cardiovascular technologies gives them a special insight into the opportunities start-ups face, insights that few early-stage investors have.
Are there two more different, more opposite roles in medtech than distributor and venture investor? The former is all about late-stage sales and marketing channels, selling other companies’ technology, and placing bets on a number of technologies to better serve customers, independent of any one technology. Investors, on the other hand, are all about innovation, often early stage, with a laser focus on individual companies and single technologies, placing significant bets on both.
And yet, through the years, the notion that distributors can play a role, advantageous both for themselves and start-up companies in helping those start-ups to develop and, in particular, bring to market innovative technology has been widespread, particularly in certain clinical areas, perhaps most notably cardiovascular devices.