How Carolin Gabor and ceasar. fill the gap in early stage funding

In an exclusive interview with BAND, Carolin Gabor, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of caesar., talks about her experiences in a male dominated ecosystem and how she and caesar. make a difference.

BAND: Can you briefly introduce yourself and explain why you started Caesar Ventures with your team?

I’m Caro. tech CEO, serial entrepreneur, avid reader, and Co-Founder & Managing Partner of caesar.

Our journey with caesar. began as a vision to leverage technology to create a brighter future. We have a deep-rooted passion for team-building and customer-focused, real-world solutions, filling an important gap in very early-stage funding – one that is often overlooked, yet is so integral to driving innovation.

Personally, caesar. was always a no-brainer for me. Selfishly, I get to feed my curiosity working to support outstanding founders on solutions that are going to make a real difference to the world – it’s a win-win-win!

BAND: At caesar., you differentiate yourselves from other VCs because you and your team also have experience on the operational side of founding companies. To what extent do you see this as a unique selling point?

I’ve experienced firsthand what happens to early stage ventures when they lack the support, network, and of course funding, to see through their ideas. As founders ourselves, we “cut the crap” and get to the core of what they need. This is invaluable in building the trust that sets the foundation for effective, longstanding cooperation.

We say that we invest before investing, and that comes from being able to operationalize this understanding to quickly identify the challenges of the business model, are able to introduce value creating co-investors like business angels from the same industry. We have an undying respect and enthusiasm for our entrepreneurial community.

BAND: Are these experiences exactly what makes you distinctive at caesar.? Making you more attractive to founders than other VCs?

We prefer to ask our founders what they think of us, and being evidence-based, we did just that!

What they told us, is that we have challenged them a lot and went very deep in our due diligence, have shared very valuable feedback, are fast decision makers and brought them value creating business angels. When founders are focusing on building their business, they don’t want to be wasting their time on endless pitch decks, and waiting for emails from junior VCs, they want to pick up the phone and have a direct next step: that’s what we offer – and it’s pretty unique.

BAND: Against the backdrop of our awareness campaign “Women Angels Mission ’25”: What experiences have you had as a female founder, and what lessons can you impart to other female founders?

I’ve navigated male-dominated environments throughout my career. My advice to other women following the same path is simple: embrace your uniqueness and don’t hesitate to assert your presence. Confidence and resilience are key attributes in overcoming obstacles and thriving in any industry – and women in business inherently have these qualities in spades.

BAND: What about angel investing? When did you start angel investing? What were your initial experiences? What tips do you have for (potential) female angel investors?

Regarding angel investing, my journey began many years ago. Initially, it was a learning curve, but over time, I’ve honed my skills and developed a keen eye for promising opportunities which came through a larger network and access to high quality investment opportunities. My advice to potential angel investors, men and women alike, is: start co-investing with successful business angels, and learn from them plus increase your own deal flow over time. A first potential step to diversify and get to know the asset class is investing in an early-stage venture capital fund because diversification is key – only 1 out of 10 startups make it.

BAND: In your opinion, what are the skills that a business angel must bring besides finances?

Resilience, specific know-how or strong network. Angel investing is about more than just writing a check; it’s about actively contributing to the success of early-stage ventures through mentorship and guidance. Sometimes you won’t be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or you might feel overwhelmed, having a plan, and seeing the big picture will help you navigate the uncertainties, the fear, and the insecurities. Successful founders take on business angels not so much for the money but for their invaluable know-how and/or network in the industry.

BAND: What is the first thing you look for when meeting new/potential startups?

When evaluating new startups, my primary focus is on the founding team. Passion, expertise, strong ambition to disrupt an industry, a high level of resilience and a diverse team regarding competencies and personalities are essential indicators of potential success. When things are tough and maybe even scary, only the strongest founding teams will survive – it starts with them.

BAND: What about the diversity of founding teams? Do you strive for balance? Or is the idea the focus – regardless of gender?

Diversity in founding teams – as in business – is integral to success. Yet, I’m sorry to say that it is easier said than done. In our experience, the majority of pitches we receive from founders – so far – are disproportionately composed of men-led ventures. This is disappointing. As a woman VC I take ownership and a hands-on approach to inspire and motivate as many women as I can towards funding, but we have more work to do. If any woman is thinking about going through the VC process, I hope they are encouraged to reach out to caesar. Even if we’re not the right match, we’ll do what we can to give you advice or share our network, where possible, so you can succeed.

BAND: What are your wishes for the future regarding (female) Angel Investing?

My hope is that my inbox will be filled with pitches from women-led startups. We need to work hard to increase participation: “We need to be in it, to win it!”

About ceasar.

About Carolin Gabor