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DEMOCRATIZING ACCESS TO EUROPEAN VC

VC is a game of access. The hottest emerging managers open and close their raise in short time frames with only a select few invited to invest.

It’s our mission to disseminate knowledge and create community & access to investment opportunities with the best emerging managers on the continent.

Through our efforts in helping emerging managers, we’ve become one of the invited and we want to share that opportunity with you.

Episodes

EPISODE #76 Will Klippgen, Cocoon Capital

Today, we’re happy to welcome Will Klippgen, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Cocoon Capital, a Singapore-based venture capital firm focusing on early-stage enterprise tech companies across Southeast Asia, specifically focused on B2B enterprise and deep tech. The fund prefers to act as lead investor and normally takes a board seat. Will has also invested in over 35 companies since 2004 after co-founding Zoomit.com which was sold to Yahoo in 2004 through Kelkoo.com in one of Europe’s largest internet transactions to date.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– What made Will double down on Southeast Asia

– What trends and verticals to watch in SEA

– Key learnings from raising a fund in emerging markets

– How Will has adapted his investment thesis and ops to the SEA markets

EPISODE #75 Danijel Visevic, World Fund

Today, we’re happy to welcome you to Danijel, founding partner at the World Fund. The fund was launched just this October 2021 focusing on funding climate-tech companies and has the ambition to be there largest climate-focused VC fund in Europe at 350M€. In their investment criteria, they have the amazingly ambitious rule of only backing startups that have the potential to save at least 100Mt CO2e per year. The fund focus on the key emitting sectors Energy, Food & Agriculture, Manufacturing, Buildings and Transport aiming to fill two significant investment gaps for climate tech: when it goes from lab to market and when it leaves the pilot stage to scale.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– Why Danijel and his team believe the time is right for a 350 M€ climate fund in Europe

– The origin story of World Fund and key learnings from their fundraise

– Where the World Fund team sees the biggest climate opportunities in Europe

– What metrics really matter when it comes to climate and sustainability

EPISODE #74 Pedro Ribeiro Santos, Armilar Venture Partners

Today we’re happy to welcome Pedro Ribeiro Santos, Partner at Armilar Venture Partners, a Portuguese VC firm with a history of more than 20 years, a high-performance track record and an international footprint with 300 million under management. Pedro leads Armilar’s sustainability investments and has a strong focus on enterprise software, SaaS and IoT technologies. Pedro has a BSc in Physics Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico and started his career as a Researcher in Physics for the University of Oxford (UK), and holds an MBA and an MSc in Economics from Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– All about the MBO story of Armilar and how you can think of spinning out of a corporate/captive VC
– How to think about putting together a syndicate for a big secondary transaction and balancing the interests on both sides of the deal
– The journey of Armilar from founding in early 2000 when Portugal could hardly be placed on a map by international VCs to today where Portugal seems to be on the lips of almost everyone.

EPISODE #73 Mathias Ockenfels and Julian Blessin, Speedinvest

Today, we’re happy to welcome you to Mathias Ockenfels and Julian Blessin, general partner and partner at Speedinvest’s Marketplaces & Consumer team. Speedinvest is one of Europe’s most active early stage investors with more than €600m under management and Mathias’ and Julian’s investment team focuses on backing startups who are shaping the future across B2B and B2C at the intersection of marketplaces, eCommerce 2.0 and consumer subscriptions.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– Where Mathias & Julian believe the next great European marketplace & consumer startups will spawn & how they win

– How Speedinvest evaluates early stage deals and how they think about evaluating and committing to startups prior to traction.

– A deep dive on the cold start problem and how to overcome it.

– How the team thinks about Web 3.0, DAO and the crypto-hype.

EPISODE #72 Mads Jensen, Superseed

Today, we’re happy to introduce you to Mads Jensen, managing partner of SuperSeed, a UK-based fund seed fund backing B2B software startups that use software and machine learning to automate the way the world does business 🤖 Mads and his partner Dan Bowyer are doing amazing work and we love them for the fact that they’ve democratized access to their fund by listing it on the stock exchange 😍 So effing awesome!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– All about SuperSeeds journey listing on the Aquis Stock Exchange

– How SuperSeed thinks about differentiating themselves in one of Europe’s most competitive places and spaces

– How Mads thinks about the adjusting to the market – higher ticket sizes? Lower equity stakes? Early stage investments? 🤷‍♂️

– How Mads thinks about funding hardware startups and overcoming the problems of securing financing for CAPEX heavy business models.

– Why Mads believes in the statement “sales solve all problems for early stage startups” and how it informs their value add strategy.

EPISODE #71 Andris Berzins, Change Ventures

Today, we’re happy to introduce you to Andris, Managing Partner at Change Ventures, the first and largest truly pan-Baltic pre-seed/seed fund. Change Ventures backs ambitious Baltic founders and are searching for founding teams that have the “grit” to succeed. Andris was also recently awarded the Human Development Award by the President of Latvia for an outstanding contribution to the future of the nation, what a guy 😍.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

– All about the Baltic ecosystem – what’s happening, what to look out for and how to approach the market

– Why Andris sees many commonalities between the Baltics and the Israeli ecosystem and how this informs Change Ventures’ thesis & strategy

– How Andris collaborates with Angels in the region and have brought them into his fund for a close and vested relationship

– Important reflections on building a remote-first VC firm, living on slack and key learnings for anyone looking to grow their firm internationally.

EPISODE #70 David Ventzel, Accelerace Invest & Overkill Ventures

Today, we’re happy to introduce you to David Ventzel, formerly a founder and the GP of not one, but TWO VC funds, Accelerace Invest and Overkill Ventures 👏 In this episode, we dive deep on Accelerace Invest, being the pre-seed fund backing Denmark’s leading startup accelerators’ amazing alumni. Accelerace has helped spawn more than 800 Danish and international startups and David’s learnings from being an integral part of the team cannot be overstated.

In this episode you’ll learn:

– How David has transitioned from being a founder to a VC and key learnings from going through this – including how to build a GP team that can complement each other.

– Key learnings from having accelerated >800 startups and all about the “Accelerace Invest Framework” distinguishing between entry criteria and the excellence criteria of Impact, Smartness, Leadership and Crazy.

– The importance of having original insight and the difference between investing in beta and alpha growth.

– All about the “momentum-framework” & tracking progress in startups pre-revenue.

EPISODE #69 Mike Suprovici, VC Lab

Today we’re joined by Mike Suprovici, Head of Acceleration at VC Lab, the 16 week VC Accelerator spun out of Founders Institute with a vision to help launch no less than 1.000 enduring VC firms by 2025. We’re excited to bring you this interview as Mike and his partner in crime Adeo Ressi have made quite a splash worldwide with their program helping more than 100 firms be launched across 5 cohorts and make important VC conceptual innovations like the Proof of Concept-fund, Fund-in-a-box and LP Love be disseminated in the ecosystem.

 

Go register your application for the 7th VC Lab cohort on vcl.to/VC

EPISODE #68 Andrea Traversone, Amadeus Capital Partners

Today, we’re happy to welcome you to Andrea Traversone, Managing Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners. Since 1997, the firm has raised over $1bn for investment and used it to back more than 180 companies. Andrea’s experience as a VC is something to envy, having lived and invested through the boom and bust of three bubbles!

 

What you’ll learn in this episode:

– The views and reflections on the current market – by a man who has lived and invested through the boom and bust of three bubbles!

– Andrea’s thoughts on carry distribution in VC funds, why junior personnel should be included in the scheme and how they’re setting aside significant carry reserves for employees growing in the firm

– Why they define DeepTech on the company level and what’s behind the three core pillars of 1) tech must be a key differentiator, 2) the startup must own the IP, and 3) tech must be the key to the company’s operational leverage.

EPISODE #67 Johan Van Mil, Peak Capital

Today we’re welcoming Johan van Mil, co-founder and managing partner of Peak to The European VC 😍 Johan is a life-long entrepreneur, who has built, bought, and sold over 11 companies, from data marketplaces and social marketing software, to email marketing platforms, and more. Making the move from founder to investor, Johan founded Peak with 5 fellow entrepreneurs in 2008, which now invests in fast growing marketplace, platforms and SaaS companies.

And what we REALLY love, their LP base is all operators putting their money to work to change the world – absolutely amazing 💕😍

In this episode you’ll learn:

– All about Johan and Peak’s journey from their first fund to today.

– How Johan thinks about brand building in VC (and they’re great at this! So pay attention! 👀)

– What’s behind the quote “Don’t try to please everybody, look for alternative ways to get things done, give 100% on one big goal – and do not move on before it is done.”

– Why Johan and Peak have chosen to build an LP base of operators and founders, what value that brings and how they use them to deliver value to founders

EPISODE #66 Mike Reid, Frog Capital

Today we’re happy to introduce you to Mike Reid, Founder and senior partner at Frog Capital, a growth stage fund focusing on the opportunity emerging between venture capital and private equity. Mike brings perspectives on a part of VC that we rarely speak about, but many founders need; the intersection point between VC and Private Equity.

 

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– All about Mike and Frog’s focus on risk capital without the pressure to grow at all cost

 

– Why Mike bets on M&A deals of 150-250 M€ rather than unicorns and how this relates to building a portfolio of Ferraris, Landrovers and BMWs

 

– Deep dive on Mike’s and Frog’s scale-up methodology

EPISODE #65 LP Roundtable – Chris Wade, David Dana & Ertan Can

We’re excited to bring to you the EUVC LP roundtable! We’ve gathered three of Europe’s master minds in VC fund investing for a candid, upfront discussion about topics core to European VCs. In this episode, we’re joined by Chris Wade, exited entrepreneur and founding partner of Isomer Capital, David Dana, head of ICT Investments at the EIF, and Ertan Can, founding partner of Multiple Capital.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– What the GP of the future will look like

– What trends are driving the EUVC landscape today

– Why secondaries are on the rise and likely to grow stronger

– What bad LP behaviour our panelists see in the market and which GPs should pay attention to and be wary of

EPISODE #64 Radu & Andrei, Seedblink

Today we’re happy to welcome you to Radu and Andrei, founders of SeedBlink – one of Europe’s upcoming platforms enabling investors to easily syndicate and participate in deals. Radu has a 30 year long experience founding and developing companies and have exited to companies like Microsoft, Naspers and Fitbit. Andrei comes from 20 years in banking but with the insights and ambition to build new experiences and solutions for the financial world – and what better place to do that than by democratising access to VC?

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– The mission of Seedblink and what made Radu and Andrei bet on building a platform for deal syndication in Europe

– What learnings Radu brings with him from his time as a founder and VC to building Seedblink

– Where Seedblink are in journey to democratize access to VC, where they see the platform in 10 years and what benefits building out of Romania gives them.

EPISODE #63 The Memo – Acrobator Ventures, Joachim Laqueur & Mike Reiner

Today we’re launching the 3rd investment opportunity in the EU🔵VC Investment Club 👉 Acrobator Ventures with Joachim Laqueur, Bas Godska, Mike Reiner and Ramon Vigdor 😍 As always we accompany this with a memo episode on The European VC where we dive deep with the GP team going through all the specifics of their fund – investment thesis, strategy, team, track record, deal flow, value add, etc. 🕵️‍♀️

 

We love their investment strategy focusing on early access by allocating significant capital to acquire defendable entry ownership positions in target startups and retaining relevance across stages by allocating super-pro-rata rights via SPVs for the LP-base. Backed by institutional LPs, the fund has been actively investing through the fundraise with called capital already marked-up significantly.

 

Intrigued? Join us in backing this amazing team in the EU🔵VC Investment Club at theemergingvc.substack.com ✊ We’re always looking for new amazing operator LPs to join our syndicates 💪 Minimum commit at 1k€ 💸

EPISODE #62: Marc McCabe, Nomad Capital 

We’re psyched to introduce you to Marc McCabe, founder of Nomad Capital and one of the latest and greatest European micro VCs in our opinion. We love Marc and are sure you will too. Marc has done angel investments for more than a decade in consumer tech and has held operating roles at AirBnB and been part of the team at SV Angel as well as a Sequoia Scout. Marc has also co-managed a Y Combinator focused micro-fund where he invested in 50 companies across 3 funds including 6 Unicorns and leading their seed investments to be followed by many great funds like A16Z, Founder’s Fund, Tiger and Spark Capital.

In this episode you’ll learn:

– What Marc learned at AirBnB and SF Angels and how he applies it in Nomad today

– Marc’s take on scout models and reflections from having been one for years

– All about the thesis behind Nomad Capital and how a solo GP executes multiple deals per month

– How Marc uses SPVs to double down on the best companies in his portfolio and capture additional value for his LPs

EPISODE #61: Andreas & Kevin, Sapphire Ventures

In the 61st episode of The European VC, we’re introducing you to Sapphire Ventures’ founding partner Andreas Weisskam and general partner Kevin Diestel.

Many newcomers to European VC don’t know this, but Sapphire was actually originally established as the corporate VC arm of German software giant SAP, before becoming an independent VC in 2011. They now have $8bn funds under management. Andreas led the launch of Sapphire’s first European office last summer, bringing the fund back to the continent 💞 and they’ve been busy since 💪 having established a team of 7 investors and having invested in companies like Cazoo, Wise, Monday.com and CurrencyCloud and many more household names.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– What drove Sapphire’s decision to double down on Europe and what learnings Andreas & Kevin have made leading the charge

– What the team thinks they’ve brought with them from the Valley that’s especially valuable and what has surprised them in the European ecosystem

– Why consensus decisions don’t always make for the best investment decisions

EPISODE #60: The Memo – Pacenotes, Jeroen Van Doornik & Menno Rijnsburger

It is with great excitement that we announce the second investment by The European VC Operator LP Syndicates 😍 In this special “Memo episode” we’re diving deep on Pacenotes with the founding team: Jeroen Van Doornik & Menno Rijnsburger. The TL:DR being 👉 Pacenotes gives us access to a proven strategy of investing in top tier funds & co-investments in the winners of their portfolio for strong risk-adjusted returns.

To sprinkle some hotness on it, Jeroen is an exited founder and tech investor who, together with Menno, has built two tech funds of €285 M, which gives them a much coveted skillset of the next generation of FoF investors.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– How a top-tier fund of funds strategy leverages direct investing to create strong risk-adjusted returns that actually rival top-quartile VC funds.

– What Pacenotes looks for in their managers and why they focus on the more established VCs with a proven ability to replicate multiples of 3x and above.

– How Jeroen thinks about diversification in their strategy.

– How Pacenotes use SPVs to expand beyond the fund’s main strike zone

EPISODE #59: Julius Bachman

Today, we’re happy to welcome you to a slightly provocative episode on VC Memes and well-intentioned founder-advise from VCs. It all started with David and I wanting to bring Julius Bachmann on to shed some light on the world of a founder coach who had formerly been a VC. But he declined! However, a couple of months later, Julius came back with something to say to the VC ecosystem 👉 Think less about doing VC memes and consider staying quiet a bit more often! We hope you’ll enjoy this episode as much as we did making it.

 

In this episode you’ll learn about:

– What problems Julius most often have founders coming to him with as a coach.

– Why VCs should recognize that they can’t always be as good a friend to founders as they want to be (and pitch that they are).

– How Julius would wish more VCs would behave in the board room and how they can make room for founders to be more candid.

EPISODE #58: Vlad Tropko, Digital Horizon VC 

Today we’re excited to introduce you to Vlad Tropko, partner of Digital Horizon, a multi-stage VC fund investing in immigrant founders globally but with a special focus on Europe. Vlad is a seasoned VC/PE executive with over 15 years of experience investing in European and American startups. Vlad has closed more than 50 deals and is an active member of international VC communities like On Deck, 2hearts, and Alma Angels.

 

In this episode you’ll learn

– How Vlad with both Ukranian and Russian heritage thinks & reacts to the current geopolitical developments

– How Vlad and his team have used late stage deals to hack traction with LPs

– Why Vlad and Digital Horizon have built their thesis around backing immigrant founders and how that gives them an edge

EPISODE #57: Dick Sietses, Health Innovations

Today we’re happy to introduce you to Dick Sietses, founding and managing partner of Health Innovations, an early stage fund for Dutch healthcare innovations.

Dick has been in VC since 2000 and founded Health Innovations with a strong eye to the market rather than the technology and thereby brings a different vantage point to the VC-world of healthcare than most funds in the space. We hope you’ll enjoy this episode as much as we did making it.

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Why having a market-driven thesis rather than a tech-driven thesis is a differentiator for Health Innovations and how it unlocks new opportunities

– How Health Innovations have made the notoriously heavy regulatory space a strength rather than an obstacle and how they work with founders to scale out of their home market

– Dick’s learnings from going from Fund I to Fund IV, what they’ve changed in their initial thesis and what they’ve doubled down on.

EPISODE #56: Matthew Le Merle, Blockchain co-investors

The 56th episode of The European VC is out and we’re talking to Matthew Le Merle, co-founder & managing partner of Blockchain co-investors, a blockchain FoF investing in the leading pure-play blockchain VCs and managing partner of Keiretsu – one of the biggest and most active angel networks in the world.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

– Learnings on community building from building Keiretsu up to have global coverage and be one of the premier global angel clubs.

– How Keiretsu collaborates with VCs and how Matthew has taken that to the next level with his blockchain co-investors’ fund.

– What led Matthew to founding Blockchain co-investors, what they’re looking for in VCs and how they pick them.

– Why Matthew believes specialization is coming for the blockchain investment landscape and how he pursues this thesis

– The key learnings from Matthew’s book “The Fifth Era” and what it means to VCs

EPISODE #55:  Sean Seton-Rogers, PROfounders Capital 

Today we’re hyped to be introducing you to Sean Seton-Rogers, Partner and co-founder of PROfounders Capital. PROfounders invests 500k to 2M$ tickets into young digital startups that fix broken customer experiences. They’ve supported and invested in Made.com, GetYourGuide, Unity/Applifier, Small Giant Games, and others. Sean also happens to be a recurring name on the Forbes Midas list, so if you need more than our validation that he’s worth taking cues from, there you go.

In this episode you’ll learn:

– How Sean has built pro-founders as a pan-European fund from day-1 and it’s impact on their operations

– How Sean thinks about the entry of the bigger American VC firms in Europe

– What’s the thinking, strategy and tactics behind PROfounders PROmoter strategy to source and win deals across Europe

– Sean’s take on different scout models and learnings from himself as well as the market.

EPISODE #54: Sam Cash, Project A

Today, we’re happy to welcome you to Sam Cash, newly named Partner at Project A, a pan-European focused seed and Series A fund, with $600m under management and offices in London and Berlin. Sam is heading the company’s London office and has helped build up its investment activities in the UK. He has written about technology entrepreneurship for TechCrunch, VentureBeat and occasionally shares his thoughts in his newsletter, Socratic Tech, which is well worth a read!

 

In this episode you’ll learn

– Sam’s route into venture and making partner

– How Sam thinks about fintech, crypto and communications and how to leverage being part of a platform VC with a huge operations team

– How to think about the last couple of year’s markets, new dynamics and the introduction of more US capital in Europe and phenomena like micro-VCs, super angels and the tiger cubs

EPISODE #53: Gary Sheynkman, Leyden Ventures

Gary Leyden, co-founder and GP of Leyden Ventures an early stage fund operating out of Dubai and have invested in breakout companies like Coinbase, Superhuman, and Instacart long before they occupied the front page of TechCrunch. And importantly, he’s also the host of 🌮⭐ TacoStars, the largest founder social community in the UAE and is hands-down one of the funniest guys we’ve brought on to the show 😍

 

In this episode you’ll learn

– What has Gary so excited about the MENA region’s ecosystem and what he thinks everyone gets wrong

– Gary’s views on fundraising in the MENA region and

– The story behind Tacostars, Leyden VC and Gary’s love for rolling funds, SPVs and plug and play fund admin

EPISODE #52: Claus Rehfeld, Danish Business Angel 

Armed with a unique thesis around health tech and some strong contrarian perspectives, we couldn’t help but bring Claus on the show when we first met him, despite him being an angel and not a VC. Claus sold his company that did business intelligence for the health care sector in 2018 and has since made 8 investments. Join us for an episode that’s certain to lift your mood and make you reflect.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– Why the Nordics is the perfect sandbox for VCs in HealthTech and a deep dive on importance of collaboration between hospitals, universities and the tech world.

– The primacy of data in the future of health care and why many VCs struggle to capture the opportunity it holds

– Why HealthTech should be perceived different from biotech, medtech, and digital health

– What’s behind the quote “founders want the glamour of startups, but not the sweat and tears” and how Claus thinks about investing and mentoring early stage founders

EPISODE #51: Winter Mead, Oper8r

Today, we’re happy to introduce you to Winter Mead, co-founder of oper8r, one of the world’s leading VC accelerators and which, since recording, has rebranded to now be operating under “Coolwater Capital”. So sorry for the confusion this might cause!

Winter has also authored the book “How To Raise A Venture Capital Fund: The Essential Guide on Fundraising and Understanding Limited Partners” which is a thorough and enlightening read for any emerging VC. So do go and check that out!

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– The amazing journey he’s been through to write his book “How To Raise A Venture Capital Fund”

– Winter’s take on good practices for GPs trying to raise their first fund

– His take on the skills of a good founding managing partner

– The incredible process of co-founding Oper8r, where they strive to build the next generation of institutional VCs with their amazing program

EPISODE #50: Finn Murphy, Frontline Ventures

Meet Finn Murphy, newly-named GP at Frontline, one of Europe’s leading B2B Enterprise VC firms. Finn is a true “Product-&-Growth-Marketing-Person” turned VC. As a teenager, Finn wanted to be a professional ocean racer after which he went on to ace Engineering & Maths at Trinity College, then start a series of startups and finally go into VC with Frontline Ventures.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Finn’s journey with Frontline drawing key lessons for VCs aspiring to make partner

– How Finn and Frontline adapted to the last few years’ bull market

– How Finn thinks about collaboration in VC & how to foster it with fellow co-investors

– Why being a junior can actually be a strength and why you should remember that your relationships are yours, not your fund’s..until you make partner that is.

EPISODE #49: CRISTOBAL ALONSO, STARTUP WISEGUYS

Today, we’re happy to introduce you to Cristobal Alonso, CEO of Startup Wise Guys, one of Europe’s leading and ambitious B2B accelerators. Cristobal and his team have made more than 270 investments into early-stage SaaS, Sustainability CyberSecurity, and Fintech B2B startups and are set to scale their accelerator model in globally in the coming years. Welcome to an episode packed with Cristobal’s knock-out energy and bold thinking.

In this episode you’ll learn:

– How Startup Wise Guys contrast to YC, Tech Stars and Startupbootcamp

– How Cristobal leverages the accelerator model to hack VC and employ a contrarian investment strategy involving bagging early wins at Series A.

– How he thinks about building a culture & org that can grow to become “YC of the rest of the world”

– Why the legal team is loved by founders, how they have a 80% survival rate in the accelerator portfolio and what has got Startup Wise Guys to a 50% follow-on rate.

– Most importantly, where and when the Startup Wise Guys Party will be this coming year

EPISODE #48: SEBASTIAN MALLABY, AUTHOR OF THE POWER LAW 

The Power Law by Sebastian Mallaby has been capturing headlines in the VC community lately. We sat down with him at The European VC to dive into his book and shed light on some of the stand-out quotes and stories from the book. If you love VC, you’ll love this book (and hopefully also our interview with Sebastian 🤣)

Join us to learn the story behind the quotes:

– Vinod Khosla: Most people think improbable ideas are unimportant. The only thing that’s important is something that’s improbable.

– Matt Clifford: Silicon Valley is gripped by the cult of the individual. But those individuals represent the triumph of the network.

– Michael Moritz, Sequoia: The great challenge at venture partnerships is that the principals must refrain from killing each other.

– Paul Graham, Y Combinator: Spend as little as you can, because every dollar of the investor’s money you get will be taken out of your ass.

– Andy Grove, Intel: John [Doerr], VC, that’s not a real job. It’s like being a real estate agent.

EPISODE #47: ROKAS PECIULAITIS & TOMAS KEMTYS, CONTRARIAN VENTURES

Today we’re talking to Contrarian Ventures’ founding partner Rokas Peciulaitis and GP Tomas Kemtys. Contrarian focuses on Energy tech and smart mobility at the seed-stage and by doubling down on community their reputation and brand has far outgrown Fund 1’s modest 12.5 M€ AUM allowing them to punch far above their weight class and raise for a many times bigger Fund II. We have to say, this episode is an amazing inspiration for any emerging manager thinking about new ways to cement their presence in European VC.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– How Rokas & Tomas has built a brand & community that far outweighs their fund size.

– How Contrarian balances investing in the notoriously difficult interface of hardware and software & what they think about solving for frontier VC verticals

– How Contrarian plans and builds the fund narrative to go from a tiny fund I to a many times bigger fund II and how they prepare for the changes it will bring to the firm.

EPISODE #46 THE MEMO – 500 Istanbul, Enis Hulli

Welcome to the inaugural launch episode of The EUVC Investment Club where we’re bringing everyone in our ecosystem together around backing emerging managers. We’re honored to bring back to the show Enis Hulli, GP of 500 Istanbul, one of the best performing funds in the 500 Global fund family. Join us as we dive deep on Enis’ fund and explore why we’re so hyped about it. We’ve long been wanting to democratize access to invest into European VC and this episode marks the true beginnings of this.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– The investment thesis and strategy that has led to Fund I’s massive success yielding a 4.7x Gross TVPI & 53% IRR

– What has allowed Enis and his team to execute 40 investments in founders from 11 countries with a cumulative 500M$ annualised revenue & 3K people employed.

– What Enis has learned and adapted from Fund I to Fund II & why Enis doubles down on talent arbitrage and tech transfer.

– How Enis thinks about firm building, why he is so wholly dedicated to deal sourcing & what his strategy is to access the best deals in Turkey and Eastern Europe

EPISODE #45 DANIELA COUTO, PARTNER AT BGV

The #45th episode of The European VC is out! I’m super hyped to introduce you to one of my fellow countrymen; Daniela Couto. Daniela is a PhD-trained Biomedical Engineer with more than 10 years of experience in VC and hands-on experience building early-stage biotech companies as a founder. Science has been at the core of Daniela’s career and she’s now making a true difference at BGV by coupling that with her entrepreneurial experience and eye for judging people as well as investments. Join us for an episode where we deep on how she and the BGV team have helped create great successes such as Dezima Pharma, Staten Biotech and Acerta Pharma – the latter being in a $7 billion transaction, still the largest VC transaction in Europe of all times.

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Daniela’s story transitioning from founder to VC

– The importance of having entrepreneurial & scientific background as a #biotech investor

– The growth story of BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) from 17M€ AUM with Fund I to 140 M€ AUM with Fund IV

– The amazing outcomes from BGV’s portfolio companies

EPISODE #44 AL RAMADAN, Father of category design & founder of PlayBigger

We’re joined by the famed Al Ramadan, author of the seminal book “Play bigger: how pirates dreamers and innovators create and dominate markets” which first introduced Category Design to the world. The book has since sold more than one hundred thousand copies and been heralded by people like Marc Benioff of SalesForce and Jim Goetz of Sequoia. We’re diving deep on category design, how it has evolved since inception in 2016 and how it’s being applied by forward thinking VCs throughout Silicon Valley and the world.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– What is Category Design and why it’s so central to the outcomes we’re all chasing in VC

– What Al Ramadan would wish he had done differently when first launching the book

– How some of the best VCs employ category design in their work with startups

– What’s next for the category of “category design” and what we should be keeping our eyes peeled for.

EPISODE #43 LUIS SHEMTOV AND ELAD VERBIN, FOUNDING PARTNERS OF LUNAR VENTURES

Luis Shemtov and Elad Verbin are two of the three founding partners behind Lunar Ventures – Europe’s hands-down most technical early stage VC investing in frontier computer science deep tech. The result was an episode full of learnings packed in great one-liners for emerging managers – from a team that closed 4 Fund of Funds.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– What made Lunar so sexy that they managed to land four European Fund of Funds & bounds of established GPs

– How months of iteration around European deep tech founders’ problems led to the founding of Lunar Ventures

– Why emerging managers need to solve for the question of why LPs should invest in the first close & how Elad thinks about it.

– Why raising SPVs is a poor entry route into deep tech VC & what it means to be trailblazing in the VC Twilight Zone.

EPISODE #42: DENNY CHARED, FOUNDER AND CEO OF DC FINANCE

Denny Chared is the founder and CEO of The DC Finance Family Office and High Net Worth Community which has more than 2 thousand high net worth individuals, family offices, and investors who collaborate with each other worldwide. In this episode, we’re diving deep on how he has built this network and learnings for VCs fundraising and engaging with family offices and High Net Worth Individuals.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Denny’s journey into the wonderful world of Family Offices

– Understanding Family Offices and the do’s & don’ts in working with them as a VC

– The importance of respecting privacy in the Family Office world

– Why VCs need to understand that talks with Family Offices can’t be all about money

EPISODE #41: VIKTOR GÄLLSTRÖM, FOUNDING PARTNER OF VEQ

Viktor is an entrepreneur turned venture-builder turned venture investor. He has hands-on experience from, as he says himself, “making all the classic mistakes” with his own startup to founding a highly successful venture builder (called VNTRS) across 4 countries and now also launching VEQ to fund pre-seed/seed founders in the Nordics and Baltics.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– What Magic the Gathering, Kebnekaise, Fasting & VC have in common

– The path from founder to venture builder to Venture Capitalist

– The do’s and don’ts for venture builders

– How VCs should collaborate with Venture builders

– The investment strategy of VEQ & how they’re using their background as venture builders to create a competitive advantage

EPISODE #40: RON DIAMOND, DIRECTOR OF STANFORD’S GLOBAL FAMILY OFFICE CENTER & FOUNDER OF DIAMOND WEALTH

We’re diving deep with Ron Diamond on the future of family offices, their interaction with & impact on VC. Ron is the Founder of Diamond Wealth representing more than 100 Family Offices from $250M to $30B AUM. Ron is on the Advisory Board of the Digital Cities and Disruptive Technology Program at Stanford & is helping to launch the Family Office Initiative at Stanford to bring together the heads of billions of family office assets to charter the future of family office investing.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– What’s behind The Stanford Family Office Initiative & how they brought thousands of family offices together

– Why Ron sees an explosion of Multi-Family Offices around the corner

– Why Ron believes the venture industry is poised for disruption by family offices

– How VCs should think about family offices, the importance of trust & ways to collaborate

EPISODE #39: GRILLING & MYTH-BUSTING WITH DAVID DANA, PT. 2 

This is the second part of “Grilling & Myth-busting with the EIF” where we’re talking to David Dana, head of ICT investments at the EIF. In this episode we cover more wide-ranging topics and questions that our community and former guests requested.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Why the EIF is raising their own private funds and how they fit in the market

– Why the EIF serves to stimulate skew the market, how they do so & avoid competition with private actors

– How the EIF picks emerging managers (team size, track record…) when evaluating new GPs. Notice! Herein lies the answer to why the EIF doesn’t invest in solo-GPs!

EIF’s views on GP compensation & carry distribution when evaluating VC funds

– How the EIF thinks about their response times & recommendations to plan for a raise involving the EIF as an LP

– How investors are chosen for the EIF’s angel program

– What we can expect in the future from the EIF and David Dana

EPISODE #38: GRILLING & MYTH-BUSTING WITH DAVID DANA, HEAD OF ICT INVESTMENTS AT THE EIF PT. 1

This is a very special edition of The European VC called “Grilling & Myth-busting with the EIF” as we’re talking to David Dana, head of ICT investments at the EIF. The episode builds on (tough!) questions sourced from our community and former guests and the lines were hot, so the episode ended up as something truly special.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– The EIF’s investment strategy, what they look for and what they shy away from

– To what extent do member country contributions impact EIF allocation

– The interplay with EIB – the European Investment Bank and how the EIF manages their many different mandates

– The gaps that EIF seek to fill in the European capital market and what they’re doing to improve university tech transfer – as well as what David personally loves

– What the EIF is doing to solve the lack of LPs with risk appetite and understanding of VC also touching on their initiative of raising their own private Fund of Funds.

EPISODE #37: OLIVER HOLLE, FOUNDING MANAGING PARTNER OF SPEEDINVEST

Oliver Holle is the founder and managing partner of Speedinvest with a whopping 600M€ AUM. We’re diving deep into Oliver’s investment strategy, his thinking behind vertically focused teams, talent development, the state of the current market and what’s next for Speedinvest. All in all, an episode packed with learnings for anyone aiming to build a true VC franchise that’s recognized and sought after by founders all across Europe.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– The origin story of Speedinvest & how Oliver has grown the firm from 10M€ AUM in fund 1 to now 600M€.

– Oliver’s take on the current market, why he’s bullish on the future of VC & there’s plenty room for growth

– How Oliver thinks about firm brand, talent development and incentives with the firm

– Oliver’s views on portfolio construction – stage, ownership targets, price sensitivity, etc!

– Why Oliver believes in the value of the Platform VC and how he thinks about building it

EPISODE #36: ENIS HULLI, GENERAL PARTNER OF 500 ISTANBUL

Enis Hulli is General Partner of 500 Istanbul. Enis has founded and manages the best performing fund in the 500 Global fund family. In this episode, we’re diving deep with Enis on his experience founding a 500-fund and how he has grown it from 10M€ in 2016 to 50M€ in 2021 & exactly what Enis believes is his secret behind his fund’s stellar performance. We’re of course also getting into Enis’ views on the potential of the Turkish and Central & Eastern European ecosystems and his super intense approach to deal sourcing requiring all the team – including the CFO – to source deals 50% of the time.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– How the 500 Istanbul fund model enabled Enis to move fast up the learning curve

– How Enis has built out his fund, firm and strategy from fund I to fund II

– All about the Turkish VC & Startup landscape and how Enis thinks about winning deals

– Enis thinking around portfolio mix and price sensitivity

– Why everyone at 500 Istanbul must dedicate at least half of their time to deal sourcing

EPISODE #35: JEROEN VAN DOORNIK, GENERAL PARTNER OF RABO FRONTIER VENTURES

Jeroen van Doornik is the managing partner of Rabo Frontier Ventures, a €200M FoF and co-investment fund with Rabobank as the sole LP. With Rabo, Jeroen leverages his unique access to tier-1 VCs like Balderton Capital, as well as his ability to identify and move quickly on co-investment opportunities in breakaway portfolio companies.

Before joining Rabo, Jeroen was an investment director at StartGreen Capital, managing its €250M venture fund providing equity, debt and project finance. He also held investing roles at growth-stage tech investment firms & founded a motorsports startup after a four-and-a-half-year stint at Accenture.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Jeroen’s investment strategy built around co-investing with European tier-1 VC firms

– Why Jeroen believes venture is all about access & speed – for VCs as well as LPs

–  Jeroen’s take on the defining characteristics of good VC firms and common GP mistakes

– What gets Jeroen excited about a VC

EPISODE #34: ULLA BROCKENHUUS-SCHACK, MANAGING PARTNER OF SEED CAPITAL

Ulla Brockenhuus-Schack is the managing partner of the Danish seed fund “Seed Capital.” To many international VCs, Seed Capital is the local deal flow partner in Denmark, a result of Ulla’s untiring work to champion Danish startups on the European Venture scene for over 15 years. Seed Capital is on its 4th fund, has invested in 47 companies, its portfolio counts greats like TrustPilot, Vivino, Lunar, Cardlay, Templafy, and its exit track counts notable companies like Endomondo, Libratone, and Mofibo.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

-Why Seed capital has doubled down on a narrow vertical and geographic focus

-What COVID taught Ulla & Seed Capital and how they adjust going forward in a post-COVID world

-How Seed Capital attracted top VCs like General Atlantic to its portfolio companies

-How Ulla achieved a 70% graduation rate from Seed to Series A – contrasting to the 20% average in Europe

EPISODE #33: CRISTINA FONSECA, VENTURE PARTNER AT INDICO CAPITAL PARTNERS

Cristina Fonseca is a Venture Partner at Indico Capital Partners and one of Portugal’s most successful tech entrepreneurs and a true pioneer in the ecosystem. Cristina has co-founded both Cleverly and Talkdesk, hugely successful exits and the latter being Portugal’s third unicorn and valued at over €3 bn. In Cristina’s own words she has: “worn various hats, be it engineering and coding, design and user experience, product management, customer relations, processes or knowledge management.” And the list could go on.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– How Cristina has transitioned from founder to VC & why she believes there are no shortcuts

– What Cristina’s startup experience brings to Indico and how the team members are complementary

– What Cristina has learned from Indico’s move into new geographies and what to expect and invest & how to avoid getting the bad apples

EPISODE #32: TEASING LEARNINGS FROM JAMES VANREUSEL, CFO-ADVISOR TO VENTURE-BACKED STARTUPS

We’re doing something different for this episode as we dive deep with James Vanreusel, CEO & founder of Vanreusel Ventures and CFO-advisor to a whole string of venture-backed startups. James resides in Silicon Valley but heralds from the Netherlands and we focus on teasing out learnings for VCs helping startups prepare for funding rounds and get ready to cross the Atlantic.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– How to think about building out the finance department in the early stages where hustling is key

– How to help early-stage companies get funding ready from a CFO-perspective

– How to think about landing in the US and the importance of partnering with local firms

– Why it’s so important to be prepared for the worst ahead of funding rounds and how to be so.

EPISODE #31: DEEP-DIVE ON ROMANIA WITH CRISTIAN MUNTEANU, MANAGING PARTNER OF EARLY GAME VENTURES & VLAD SARCA, GP OF SPARKING CAPITAL

In this episode we dive deep on the wonderful Romanian ecosystem as we try to understand if it really is going to repeat the UI Path-success or if they were a one-trick unicorn-pony. We’re talking to two of the country’s favorite sons: Vlad Sarca from Sparking Capital and Cristian Munteanu from Early Game Ventures.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– Romania is poised to deliver many more unicorns than just the famed UI Path

– Where to look next, who to partner with and what to keep in mind regarding Romania

– Why Cristian & Vlad are bullish on Romania and CEE as the driving force of the next wave of VC tech success stories

– Why Cristian doesn’t want to hear about founders’ passions or high-browed thoughts about work/life-balance

EPISODE #30: J. SKYLER, FOUNDER & GP OF VENTURE UNIVERSITY & VU VENTURE PARTNERS PT.2

This is the second part of our interview with J. Skyler, founder of Venture University, the world’s leading investor accelerator & general partner of VU Venture Partners, a multi-stage fund focused on Consumer, Enterprise, Fintech, Frontier, Healthcare, and PropTech. His team has $1.8 Billion invested in more than 250 companies, including greats like Beyond Meat, Facebook, Uber, Twitter, Wish and the list goes on.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– Why Skyler is hoping to see European founders focus on what’s unique to Europe

– Why Skyler thinks European startups have a better global outlook than US Startups

– How Skyler thinks about partnering with the best VC funds from a co-investment as well as LP perspective

– Why Skyler prefers to have an A-market with a B-team, & doesn’t see operator experience as core to being a good VC

EPISODE #29: J. SKYLER, FOUNDER & GP OF VENTURE UNIVERSITY & VU VENTURE PARTNERS PT.1

J. Skyler is the founder of Venture University & VU Venture Partners, a multi-stage fund focused on Consumer, Enterprise, Fintech, Frontier, Healthcare, and PropTech, with offices in San Francisco, New York City, and Hong Kong. They’ve invested over $1.8 Billion in more than 250 companies, including Beyond Meat, Facebook, Uber, Twitter, Oculus, Wish. J. Skyler is also the Founder & CEO of Venture University, the world’s leading investor accelerator for individuals breaking into VC, PE, and angel investing.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– How Skyler built the world’s leading investor accelerator program & top performing fund

– Why VC must be learnt on the job & why higher Ed. is a lame duck

– How VU thinks about the European opportunity & entering the market

– How VU is moving the needle in female & minority representation in VC

EPISODE #28: CHRISTIAN HERNANDEZ, FOUNDING PARTNER OF 2150, EUROPE’S BIGGEST FIRST-TIME FUNDRAISE TO DATE

Christian Hernandez is a founding partner of the newly launched VC firm 2150, a climate VC fund focused on technology companies that seek to sustainably reimagine and reshape the urban environment by solving major problems across the Urban Stack.
With a whopping 270 M€ raised in just one year, 2150 is the biggest VC fundraise for a European first-time fund ever and we’re diving deep on exactly what allowed them to do that.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– How a mid-life crisis led to the formation of Europe’s biggest first-time fund ever

– What made the difference for 2150’s founding team when fundraising

– How 2150’s LP-base is much more than financial investors looking for returns

– What’s a Gigacorn, why Christian made up the term and how he hunts for them

EPISODE #27: KJARTAN RIST, FOUNDING & MANAGING PARTNER OF CONCENTRIC 

Kjartan Rist is the founder and managing partner of Concentric, a UK/Denmark based Seed+ and Beyond fund focusing on B2B and B2B2C startups building software companies solving nontrivial problems in traditional sectors. Kjartan has been in VC for 20 years so naturally, we dive deep with him on how the European startup & VC scene has changed over the last two decades as well as his firm, his thesis and his vehement belief in being a hands-on investor.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– Why the best founders are like cockroaches & why startups in Europe are booming

– How the European VC scene has changed over the last 20 years

– Why the perception of Spaniards being on siesta and the French on strike no longer applies to Europe

– Why Kjartan hunts for startups that solve non-trivial problems in traditional sectors & how he adds value to them

EPISODE #26: STEPHANE GUINET & MICHAËL NIDDAM, FOUNDERS OF KAMET VENTURES

In this episode we shed light on the growing phenomenon of Venture Builders in Europe. Venture Builders are becoming an ever more used entry path into VC for emerging managers and thus also a more common co-investor for early stage VCs to work with.

We’re talking to two seasoned veterans from the Venture Builder world, Stephane Guinet and Michaël Niddam, who are the founders of Paris/Tel Aviv/London-based Kamet Ventures.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– What are the strengths and weaknesses of different Venture Builder models

– How Kamet thinks about idea origination and founder team creation

– How VCs should think about having venture builders on the cap table

– How VCs should work with venture builders both prior to and after an investment in a VB portfolio company

EPISODE #25: SIMÃO CRUZ, FOUNDING MANAGING PARTNER OF LIGHTSHIFT CAPITAL

At just 25 years of age, Simão already has the achievements of a lifetime under his belt: Found a watch brand, check; Join corporate bank and rise to become sub-director, check; Co-found Portugal’s strongest Fintech association, check; Raise a VC Fund to invest in blockchain startups? Well of course! Join us for a deep dive on the ever-changing blockchain space & Simão’s strategy to capitalize it.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

– Why Lightshift is part VC fund, part hedge fund & why they double down on blockchain applications in FinTech

– Why & how blockchain is changing the traditional VC model

– Why Lightshift is part VC fund, part hedge fund

– Raising for a crypto fund, how to approach LPs and Simão’s learnings for other emerging managers raising

EPISODE #24: ERTAN CAN, FOUNDING PARTNER OF MULTIPLE CAPITAL, PT. 2

Ertan Can is the founding managing partner of Multiple Capital, one of Europe’s truly visionary Fund of Funds pioneering micro-VC and Seed fund investing. Prior to founding Multiple, Ertan was Investment Director at a Family Office, which led to developing his thesis for Multiple. Ertan has invested in 30 funds with a portfolio of 500+ early-stage tech companies in Europe across more than 50 sectors and hubs.

 

In this episode, you will learn:

– Why many emerging managers should think twice before raising

– How to communicate to limited partners & why Ertan misses differentiation from GPs

– Why Ertan loves solo-GPs & micro VCs & how he hunts new managers across Europe

– How Ertan develops his thinking around new markets & upcoming funds

– Why Ertan is the opposite of a good fundraiser and what he has learned about the effect of outreaches in fundraising.

EPISODE #23: ERTAN CAN, FOUNDING PARTNER OF MULTIPLE CAPITAL, PREMIERE FOF INVESTOR IN EMERGING MANAGERS

Ertan Can is the founding managing partner of Multiple Capital, one of Europe’s truly visionary Fund of Funds pioneering micro-VC and Seed fund investing. And it’s no coincidence that Ertan has named his fund Multiple, as the word holds the key to his strategy: democratize access to a diversified portfolio of multiple managers across multiple geographies, multiple sectors, and multiple vintages.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Why Ertan started Multiple & what it’s like to raise for an FoF in Europe

– Why Ertan focuses on emerging managers and what he looks for

– Why track-record cannot be your main criteria when evaluating Emerging Managers

– The role of KPIs and reporting for emerging managers

–  Why investing is more about being a cockroach than a hero

EPISODE #22: CYRUS SHEY, MP OF BREGAL MILESTONE, ONE OF EUROPE’S HIGHEST PERFORMING GROWTH FUNDS

Cyrus Shey is the managing partner of Bregal Milestone, a 500 M€ growth fund investing all across Europe. Bregal Milestone pioneers a sourcing strategy focused on people, process and technology that allows them to engage nearly 100 companies weekly & has resulted in Bregal having closed all deals without a competitive process. Bregal Milestone stands out as a value-add investor with a hands-on team that Cyrus refers to as both a SWAT-team and in-house M&A department.

 

In this episode you’ll learn: 

– The differences between the EU and US growth-stage market 

– The benefits of raising a fund embedded in an established investment firm  

Bregal Milestone’s use of data to create a competitive advantage  

– Bregal Milestone’s endemic diversity and how that helps scale-ups grow in Europe  

M&A as a core tactic to fast-track European expansion. 

EPISODE #21: VINOTH JAYAKUMAR, THE IPOING OF A FUND AS A PATH TO PATIENT CAPITAL

Vinoth Jayakumar is a Partner at Draper Esprit – one of Europe’s very few publicly listed VC firms. They were first founded in 2006 and now manage more than a billion euros, they’ve made more than 125 investments and have created more than 5 billion in returns for their investors. At Draper Esprit, Vinoth focuses on the future of finance, Insurance, fintech, proptech and cybersecurity. He’s interested in all of it, but what gets him truly excited is companies that aren’t afraid of targeting the whole stack of financial products and services. No easy pickings for Vinoth.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– The anatomy of Draper Esprit, why they IPO’d their fund and the benefits it brings

– Why Draper Esprit’s investment strategy includes a FoF & secondaries focus

– Vinoth’s take on the recent changes in the European VC market

– Why ESG is more than a box ticking exercise to Vinoth and how to work with portfolio companies on it.

EPISODE #20: LARA KOOLE, FUND-OF-FUNDS INVESTOR DEMOCRATISING ACCESS TO VENTURE INVESTING IN CLIMATE TECH

Lara Koole is the co-founder of Carbon Equity, the first global alternative climate investment platform & one of the most ambitious attempts to democratize VC investing. In the second part of our talk, Lara deep dives in the plans to re-define the Climate VC space with Carbon Equity. Lara shared how she draws on her experience at Phillips to make her dream job come true, what she looks for when evaluating funds to invest in, & how the European Union is helping to pave the way to more transparent climate investing.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– The role of purpose in evaluating climate VC funds

– How Lara views carry distribution models and other alignment tools

– Carbon Equity’s plans to become a beacon in the LP community

– The GP commit controversy and Lara’s take on it

– Greenwashing in the VC scene and the European Union’s contribution to end it.

EPISODE #19: LARA KOOLE, FUND-OF-FUNDS INVESTOR DEMOCRATIZING ACCESS TO VENTURE INVESTING IN CLIMATE TECH

Lara Koole is the co-founder of Carbon Equity, the first global alternative climate investment platform and one of the most ambitious attempts to democratize access to VC investing. Lara is also a former partner of Phillips Ventures where she set up their corporate venture fund, doing both direct investments and fund investments.

Lara and her team have just closed their first financing round and are in the midst of building their first Fund of Funds-feeder fund. In this first part of our talk, Lara takes us behind the scenes of Carbon Equity and how they’re changing the way VC works.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– How Lara and her team are unleashing the power of VC to tackle climate change

– How retail investors are going to be able to invest in VC through Carbon Equity

– Why and how the VC model is adapted by Carbon Equity, including a “no carry” policy (!)

– Perspectives on Feeder Funds and why Carbon Equity are using them

EPISODE #18: JOE SCHORGE, FOUNDING MANAGING PARTNER OF ISOMER CAPITAL, ONE OF EUROPE’S TOP PERFORMING FUND OF FUNDS.

Joe Schorge is the founding and managing partner of Isomer Capital, one of the most formative Fund of Funds in the European ecosystem. This is the second part of a two-part episode and this episode focuses on Joe’s views on disruption in the VC space, the current state of The European ecosystem and how he assesses emerging managers. To top it off, Joe also left us with some clues of what’s coming next for him and for Isomer Capital.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– What it takes to start a VC firm and get interest and money from the best LPs.

– Why GPs attempting to disrupt VC rarely catches Joe’s interest.

– Why being the first and the only is a bad strategy to be fundraising on in VC

– How and why Joe and the Isomer team worked close with the founders of First Entrepreneur.

– Why LPs should consider investing in a Fund of Funds instead of directly into VC funds.

EPISODE #17: JOE SCHORGE, FOUNDING MANAGING PARTNER OF ISOMER CAPITAL, ONE OF EUROPE’S TOP PERFORMING FUND OF FUNDS.

Joe Schorge is the founding and managing partner of Isomer Capital, one of Europe’s absolute strongest Fund of Funds. Joe started his career in technology management positions that got him up close with M&A which led Joe to a whole string of accomplishments in PE and VC doing direct as well as fund investments. To top it off, Joe has also made Angel investments. In this first part of a two-part episode we’re truly talking to one of the greats as we dive deep on the origin story of Isomer Capital, Joe’s investment thesis and what it takes to be a great VC.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– What made Europe so unique that Joe, as an American, had to start his fund here.

– What profiles make up the VC dream team – the VC hackers, hipsters and hustlers.

– Why innovation requires an open minded attitude while searching for past patterns.

– How Isomer Capital creates value for their portfolio of VC funds.

EPISODE #16: CHRIS SMITH, MANAGING PARTNER OF ONE OF UK’S PREMIER PRE-SEED & SEED FUNDS

Chris Smith is the managing partner at Playfair Capital investing in seed & pre-seed in the UK, Europe and Israel. This is the second part of a two-part episode with Chris. If you haven’t done it yet, we strongly recommend you go back and listen to episode 14  with Chris on being a single-LP firm, post-Covid market dynamics . In this episode we dive deep on deal flow, founder profiles, and Playfair’s value add strategies.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Ways to get privileged access to stellar first-time founders.

– How Playfair’s value add strategy goes way beyond the ordinary, drawing on every partner at their team.

– Why Playfair goes beyond the headline grabbing capital injections and actually cares for their founders’ well-being.

– The motivation to create the Female Founder Office Hours and its impact in deal-flow.

EPISODE #15: RYAN FLOYD, FOUNDING MANAGING DIRECTOR OF STORM VENTURES BASED IN SILICON VALLEY BUT INVESTING GLOBALLY

Ryan Floyd is a Founding Managing Director of Storm Ventures based in Silicon Valley but investing globally. He focuses on early stage enterprise SaaS and has a true love for applications and cloud/infrastructure related companies. Ryan is dedicated to making VC more accessible and is doing important work on this via his YouTube channel Ask A VC. In this episode we put the spotlight on how to think about startup advisors and strategies for breaking into VC.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– The role of advisors and how to get the best out of them to build successful companies.

– How to think about compensation for advisors.

– What skills are most important in a venture investor and how to build and prove them.

– Strategies for breaking into venture, including shadow portfolios and angel investing.

– How Storm Ventures think about go-to-market strategies for early stage companies.

EPISODE #14: CHRIS SMITH, MANAGING PARTNER OF ONE OF UK’s PREMIER PRE-SEED & SEED FUNDS.

Chris Smith is the managing partner at Playfair Capital where he focuses on seed (and pre-seed) deals in the UK, Europe and Israel. Chris is particularly interested in autonomous transportation, business and industrial automation (especially through AI, ML and computer vision), HealthTech (except diagnostics and therapeutics) and B2B SaaS. But what gets Chris truly excited is when he can find companies operating in unloved/overlooked sectors that are ripe for disruption.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– The impact of being a 1-LP fund & how Playfair brings their heart with them into VC.

– Strategies for VCs and founders to win in the current bull market.

– Why globally distributed teams are more resilient than traditional businesses.

– The post-COVID effects on deal sourcing strategy and VC operations.

– How PlayFair thinks about value add as a hands-on pre-seed & seed investor.

EPISODE #13: NICO GOULET, VC WIZARD & MANAGING PARTNER WITH €180 MILLION AUM FOR EARLY STAGE B2B DEEP TECH.

Nico Goulet is founding and managing partner of Adara Ventures where they focus exclusively on B2B startups solving complex problems with breakthrough solutions. Adara are behind 36 investments and are responsible for the exit of AlienVault – the largest Spanish deep tech exit ever. Nico is a world-class thinker whose teaching at INSEAD and IE Business School has inspired VCs across all of Europe.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Why dragons are often a better bet than unicorns.

– The difference between pickers and allocators and their strengths and weaknesses.

– How to craft a strategy and story that will convince investors to invest and stick with you through three busts and booms.

– How Nico thinks about portfolio strategy, modelling and the importance of staying coherent.

EPISODE #12: YURI NAVARRO, FOUNDING PARTNER AT KANATA VENTURES

Yuri Navarro is the founder and managing partner at Kanata Ventures. Yuri is a true visionary not just building a fund but changing how early stage investing is done by solving for the Unit Economics of seed stage investing and bringing a ecosystem building approach to VC. At Kanata they invest in promising B2B Enterprise technology startups and help them enter the North American market through Canada. Kanata Ventures operates out of Toronto and is attracting the best global founder teams to help them settle and grow out of Canada.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– How to hustle your way to raising a fund.

– How to hack public programs for increased deal flow.

– Why European startups should attack North America through Canada.

– Why Yuri believes in the power of community and cooperation in the VC Industry.

Episode #11: PEDRO VIEIRA, A SUPERSTAR COMMUNITY BUILDER TURNED MANAGING PARTNER

Pedro Vieira is a founding and managing partner at the newly launched Shilling Founders Fund. In this episode we dive deep with Pedro on everything from raising the fund, how they’ve strategically designed their LP-base for superior value add to their investment and portfolio management strategy. We have also featured Pedro in a previous episode where we learned more about his time as Europe & Africa Lead at 500 Startups and the creator of West to West.

 

In this episode you’ll learn:

– Why Pedro and Shilling share part of their profit with founders of the portfolio companies.

– Shilling’s SLA with founders: in thirty days you’ll have money in the bank or a no-go.

– How an institutional investor can tackle the pre-seed space in the south of Europe.

– How to think about partnering with founders and other VCs for a competitive edge.

Episode #10: Itxaso del palacio, expert in product-led growth for B2B European SaaS startups

Itxaso Del Palacio is a Partner at Notion Capital, one of Europe’s strongest early-stage SaaS and enterprise tech investors. Notion Capital was founded in 2009 and has invested in more than 60 startups and has more than €500 M assets under management. Itxaso joined the team of entrepreneurs and operators turned investors with a laser focus on product led growth and a truly founder-centric perspective that has quickly made her a central figure in the SaaS space.

 

In this episode you will learn:

– What is product-led growth and why it’s one of the best growth routes for B2B SaaS in Europe.

– Why product-led growth companies are extra resilient during hard times.

– How Itxaso views startups advisors and best practice for working with them.

– Key lessons from Itxaso’s work with some of Europe’s best SaaS success stories.

Episode #9: Kate Talbot, expert social media & marketing strategist for revered VC firms

Kate Talbot is Senior Forbes contributor and Marketing strategist for great VC firms such as Plexo Capital, Community Fund and Flybridge. Kate has a background from working directly with none other than the famed Richard Branson, in startups backed by revered firms such as Andreesen-Horowitz and has now started her own consultancy where she works with VCs on developing and executing their marketing strategy.

 

In this episode you will learn:

– The importance of saying “Yes!”.

– The strength of a well-crafted content marketing strategy & how to build it.

– How to benefit from your ethos and use it to hack current media agendas and stand out from the crowd.

–  Why marketing needs to be top of mind of any VC firm.

–  How to humanize VC & make it leverage the power of community.

Episode #8: Pedro Vieira, working with governments in building up their ecosystems

Pedro Vieira is Europe & Africa Lead at 500 Startups where he is working with governments in building their ecosystems and training all stakeholders. Pedro is a scientist, turned founder, turned investor, with deep experience in the tech world. He is also the creator of West to West, a not-for-profit that helps create and support a thriving environment for Portuguese entrepreneurship in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

In this episode you will learn:

– The contrasting characteristics of the European and US ecosystems from the perspective of someone connecting the West Coasts of these two geographies.

– The differing profiles of European and American founders.

– How 500 startups creates synergies to help countries across Europe build stronger and more robust innovation ecosystems.

– The value perceived by LPs in aligning and training all stakeholders of the ecosystem.

Episode #7: Andrés Dancausa, Partner of a VC firm investing in mission-driven and diverse founders

Andrés Dancausa is EMEA Partner at The Venture City. The Venture City helps diverse founders achieve global impact through a unique model bringing together a product-led acceleration program and an early stage venture capital fund headquartered in Madrid, Spain but operating all around the globe. Andrés is a true operator turned investor, a friend of founders for his constant readiness and good advice. Something you’ll surely experience throughout the episode.

 

In this episode you will learn:

– Why Andrés thinks diversity is imperative for generating returns for both VCs and LPs.

– How Andrés and TVC build with an operator mindset.

– How TVC, as a truly globally diverse and mission-driven VC firm, adds value to its founders.

– What product-led growth is and why it’s part of TVC’s secret sauce.

Episode #6: William McQuillan, Founding Partner of a venture firm for globally ambitious B2B companies

William McQuillan is a founding partner of Frontline Ventures. This is the second part of a two-part episode with William. If you haven’t done it yet, we strongly recommend you go back and listen to our previous episode with William on Frontline’s investment thesis and how they support founders. In this episode we focus on firm building. Specifically how William built Frontline and took it from an Irish focused firm to a firm for globally ambitious B2B companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

In this episode you will learn:

– How William perceives the funding environment in Europe, compared to the US.

– How Frontline collaborates with its LPs in adding value to their portfolio companies.

– The importance of VC firm building from William’s perspective and how he believes it contributed to Frontline’s success.

– Why William believes VCs should be more rigorous in their use of data to find deals

Episode #5: William McQuillan, Founding Partner of a venture firm for globally ambitious B2B companies

William is a founding partner of Frontline Ventures. Prior to starting Frontline, he was a founding employee at Ondra, an award-winning investment boutique that went from a 4 person team to 70+ employees in only 18 months. When Frontline was founded, William was 27 years old, making him the youngest VC ever to have raised a fund at that time (2012). Shortly after recording this episode William announced Frontline Fund III.

 

In this episode you will learn:

– How William has built a truly differentiated investment thesis for Frontline’s two funds.

– What William looks for in seed stage startups and why he believes integrity is all important and money cannot be the founder’s main driver.

– How William perceives the effects of Brexit and its implications for their investment strategy and work with startups.

– Why William is a supporter of founders taking a small bit of secondaries.

Episode #4: Shomit Ghose, GP of a Silicon Valley firm with 7 funds under its belt

This episode runs contrary to what the European VC stands for and features an American VC from the Valley. However, the focus is on looking from the outside in, as well as carving out lessons learned from decades of collaboration across the Atlantic. Shomit Ghose is a General Partner of ONSET Ventures, a leading early stage venture firm operating out of Sand Hill Road, in Silicon Valley. With more than 130 startups and 7 funds under its belt, ONSET Ventures is a highly respected firm in the Valley. Shomit is a seasoned VC with multiple IPOs under his belt – both as an investor and as an entrepreneur.

 

In this episode you will learn:

– How the European and American VC landscapes differ and what we can learn from both.

– How to increase your presence and establish collaborations between US and European VCs.

– How to approach building a country-agnostic fund and the role of VCs, LPs and Institutions.

Episode #3 Michael Hansen, CEO of a leading Business Angel Association in Europe

Michael Hansen is the CEO of DanBAN, Denmark’s leading Business Angel Association. DanBAN consist of more than 200 active Angels who collectively invest in more than 30 M€ on an annual basis. Prior to joining DanBAN, Michael was the chief architect behind the sprawling investment environment around the Danish Robotics Cluster which is broadly recognized as one of the very strongest clusters for Robotics companies in Europe, if not the world.

In this episode, you will learn from a true investment cluster builder

– The importance of politicians making brave strategic decisions in promoting cluster development.

– The story of the Danish Robotics Cluster in which the first collaborative robots were hatched, counting with two acquisitions at a valuation of almost 1 billion EUR.

– How to work with national clusters to generate deal flow and fast track deals.

– Collaboration models between Business Angels and VCs.

Episode #2 Stephan Morais, Founder and Managing Partner of a leading early-stage deep tech VC firm

Stephan Morais is the founder and Managing Partner of Indico Capital Partners, a leading early-stage deep tech VC firm. With a diversified background as an investment banker, consultant, entrepreneur and CEO, he has lived in 8 countries and 4 continents over the last 24 years, and acted as and advisor to politicians and European institutions. Prior to founding Indico, Stephan was an Executive Board Member at Caixa Capital, where he led investment rounds of many Portuguese global tech success stories.

In this episode, you’ll learn

– How Stephan tackled raising a VC fund and what to should look for in LPs

– How European VCs can push for policy developments that allow for more capital to be deployed into the industry

– What Europe can learn from other countries and regions

– What learnings Stephan has drawn from running an iberian fund

Episode #1 Marc Lohrmann, Managing Partner of a 120 M€ life science fund

Marc Lohrmann is the Managing Partner of Vesalius Biocapital III, a 120 €M venture capital fund investing in late-stage companies in drug development, medical devices, diagnostics and eHealth, across Europe. Prior to joining Vesalius, Marc started eight life sciences companies, worked as an investment manager at a leading corporate VC and worked with several corporate finance boutiques focused on life sciences M&A transactions.

In this episode, you’ll learn

– How VBC III works as a country-agnostic VC fund and the main barriers to more funds investing across Europe.

– How investors without a natural sciences background can create value for Life Sciences companies and why founders find these investors a refreshing element in the board room.

– What Marc would love to change about European VC, what’s important when investing across Europe and what’s next for Marc.