Specialization, specialization, specialization - Editorial by Ionut Patrahau

It seems that the road to success has a billion paths, and as long as everyone follows their own personal path, no one has the right to comment on it.


Editorial written by Ionuț Pătrăhău, Managing Partner & Corporate Development @ SeedBlink. 
In addition to his vast experience in banking, Ionuț Pătrăhău also worked in the medical services field, being former CEO of the private health network Regina Maria and co-founder of the Brain Institute, a neurosurgery center developed in partnership with the Monza Hospital.

The strategic dispute between the “specialized” or “generalist” approaches continues to generate debates, especially since the vast majority of companies do not ask themselves this question, preferring to remain opportunistic from the start to the end of the business. In some ways, the opportunistic approach is not that bad, if it serves to ultimately identify an exclusive or inclusive strategy.

In other words, it seems that the road to success has a billion paths, and as long as everyone follows their own personal path, I think no one has the right to comment on it.

Obviously, the problem arises when a particular company does not have any route for a long time, but even here there are exceptions. There are companies in some industries, absolute innovations, which are successful from the beginning due to their novelty, the lack of competition, and the lack of a certain dynamic induced by customer segmentation. But let us put theory aside and return to the logic of choosing one approach or another.

How do we make a choice? What are the determinants? Are there really any determinants or we are actually trying to deduce a rule for each decision?

Are we convinced that we should first look at our customers and their basic needs? Is the business specific enough to benefit from specialization? Does the need for specialization appear in the investors’ feedback? Or the product is so mundane that the differentiation is made by exceptional execution and minimal cost?

If the product is an investment one, and if the asset class it targets is so specific either through its risk profile, liquidity, level of innovation built-in, or required knowledge, then specialization seems to be the most appropriate strategy, as investors will have more confidence in a team that focuses exclusively on these types of assets and promotes a portfolio approach that supports them towards the best possible investment efficiency.

At least in the early days of SeedBlink, we chose to specialize in technology, as it is much easier to add value for the investors when the entire team is focused on this type of investment.

Is this approach really helpful? Aren’t there any opportunities for horizontal integration of the company, like ICOs and other blockchain-based financing markets?

Clearly, there are countless integration opportunities, but the potential of a company cannot be considered sufficiently used, up until a large portion of the value is released to customers. The moment the integration begins is when specialization would migrate to a one-stop-shop approach, but such a prospect seems so distant it’s not worth even mentioning. And even more so because specialization on technology seems to be the right recipe for internationalization, more specifically for SeedBlink to become a European player.

The integration of different investment cultures – given the differences that still exist between the different European regions – and the convergence of the investment platforms on the continent, are as important as any legislative, monetary, fiscal, or political integration. It seems that building a new market must start by focusing. By specializing and concentrating on segments as narrow as possible in the particular industry in which they operate.

Therefore, this approach remains our keystone.

Our primary focus is on technology and the technology-oriented investors' community. It remains to prove the timing is right. It seems that the pandemic, which seems about to end, was one of the catalysts. Ultimately, it is the future that will prove or disprove our thesis.


SeedBlink is a full-service investment platform that enables everyday and accredited investors to access curated European tech startups through crowdinvesting and angel syndicates.

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By Ionut Patrahau

PublishedJanuary 10, 2022

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