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Episodes

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 and one of the most ambitious attempts to democratize access to VC investing. In this second part of our talk, Lara Deep dives with us on the plans to re-define the Climate VC space with Carbon Equity. Lara shared with us 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, or 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.