Dr. Heinz Raufer

After graduating from high school and finishing an apprenticeship, Dr. Heinz Raufer (*13.02.1964) earned his degree in business administration at the University of Nuremberg in 1992. He went on to complete his Phd with his doctoral dissertation focussing on document and workflow information technology.

While working on his Phd he started an Internet Service Agency named Atrada AG in 1995, which in 1998 solely specialized in internet auction tools. In 2000 the company was bought by T-Online International AG. In 2001 Mr. Raufer founded the hotel.de AG, a leading hotel online reservation service with the Internet addresses www.hotel.de (German market) and www.hotel.info (markets abroad) for both business and leisure travellers where approximately 210,000 hotels worldwide could be booked directly.

In 2006 Mr. Raufer received the German Founders Award (Deutscher Gründerpreis) and was named “German Entrepreneur of the Year” (Ernst & Young Award).

In 2011 the HRS Group acquired hotel.de AG. After 2 years of integrating the profit center hotel.de/hotel.info into the HRS Group Heinz started as a professional Business Angel to co-found and to support several other interesting and highly scalable IT and internet businesses.

Please find more information on Heinz portfolio here.

It is my passion to invest in young IT companies and to create innovative products that assert themselves in the respective market and generate growth.

  • Expertise in / interest in the following areas: Internet, IT, software, B2B/SaaS, scalable B2C/B2B Internet platforms

  • Previous experience:

    – Founded and managed online auction platform Atrada AG (1998-2001)
    – Hotel reservation system hotel.de/hotel.info (2001-2013)
    Business Angel (2014-today)

  • Favourite quote: “Software is eating the world.” (Marc Andreessen)

Q -What has been the most important "learning" of your career?
HR -Focus on one product/service (no great diversification, high development speed, no "interlocking").
Q -What makes a really good founder?
HR -He has a scalable product with real USPs, has a startup mentality, is intrinsically motivated, is a team player, can delegate and motive and is always willing to learn.
Q -What is a "deal breaker" for you?
HR -A non-scalable product without USPs, a small market, founder team holds insufficient company shares.
Q -What attracts you to venture capital/angel investment?
HR -Constantly getting to know new business models, industries and founder teams.
Q -What trends do you currently observe in the technological world?
HR -Fast mobile data transmission with high bandwidth (5G), IoT, cloud computing.
Q -Which technological advancement are you hoping for most?
HR -Highly efficient emission free energy generation with high-performance energy storage (solid battery, hydrogen production).
Q -Which technology or trend inspires you most?
HR -Cloud-Computing.
Q -What is your most important advice to founders?
HR -Focus on product and USPs while remaining pragmatic, fast, willing to learn, team-oriented and humble.

An angel investor should focus on the "Big Picture".

Dr. Heinz Raufer
Q -Can Europe keep up on the global stage? Where do you see opportunities?
HR -Persistent disadvantages in investment volume and in bureaucracy/regulation as well as cultural/linguistic diversity vs. USA; state compensation possibilities based on simple (co-)investment programmes such as BAFA and EAF/EIF and simpler, Europe-wide uniform and market-based as well as business-friendly framework conditions by the EU.
Q -What do European startups do better compared to American ventures?
HR -Sometimes faster and better "organic" internationalization.
Q -Which startup inspires you most?
HR -Flixbus (despite the current crisis).
Q -What should an angel do and what should they avoid doing?
HR -Focus on the "Big Picture", no consulting in "Daily Business".
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