We focus on what can go right, not what can go wrong
We seek out entrepreneurs inventing new industries
We are deeply connected in the tech economy
We practice a simple craft. We have no scout program, no diversity fund, no founder collective, no secondary fund and no late-stage growth equity fund. Our focus is narrow — we find and help Europe’s best technology startups grow into large, dominant category-defining companies by investing in them in their earliest days. What we do may seem hard, but it is never harder than the entrepreneur’s journey.
We take risks on brilliant people and products. We work with founders on a mission to change the one thing they think is fundamentally broken in the world. We’re comfortable with the rough imperfection of a new venture. We welcome young or first-time founders who are technical or domain experts in their field.
We focus on startups seeking to invent new market categories or transform large, existing industries. We are deliberately anti-thematic. We invest when we think a founder is going to build something of importance for tomorrow. We care more about the magnitude of the long-term return and less about minimizing risk in a company’s early days.
We invest early and lead seed rounds, and selectively participate at the pre-seed stage. We invest at fair terms and reserve capital to follow our investments. We are not limited by a particular check size or ownership percentage. We typically invest between $1 to 3 million, although we have gone as low as $250,000 and as high as $5 million. When we lead investments, we like to aim for an ownership position between 10% to 15%.
We believe Silicon Valley matters. Compared to the U.S., Europe doesn’t have the financing depth, executive, product management or engineering management talent, and ecosystem of partners (and eventually, acquirers) to let startups scale into large, valuable companies. This means we work closely with founding teams to tackle the US market early.
We don't make bets. We make commitments.
The best way to learn more about us is to talk to entrepreneurs we work with. You’ll find there is no one in Europe like us.
When we believe in your vision, market and team, we get conviction quickly. We often write the first large check a company receives. We aren’t afraid of being the only investor, but we are happy to invest alongside other helpful early-stage investors.
Actively helpful minority investor
Great companies are built by great entrepreneurs, not venture capitalists. Our help is behind the scenes. We help founders from day zero. Entrepreneurs count on us for introductions, advice on hiring, market intel, inking strategic partnerships and handling operational issues. Sometimes we even help them get crazy acquisition offers.
From the tech industry
We’re not bankers and we’re not consultants. We’ve worked at some of the most prominent tech companies, including Google, Intel, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.
Experience and knowledge
We have invested through several market cycles. We have a sage perspective that comes from being in the industry for decades. There are very few internet and software Silicon Valley businesses – or venture funds – that we don't have senior level access to.
We believe if you can’t invent the future, the next best thing is to fund it.
We focus exclusively on startups with the potential to scale in new markets
We don’t like better mousetrap businesses. A good customer value proposition isn’t enough to get us excited. We think value is created when startups ride an underlying industry disruption that carries them to greatness. Few markets experience disruptive change each year so we only make a few new investments each year.
We’ve found the universal hallmark of great companies is the ability of founders to attract and hire exceptional candidates, raising the bar with each successive hire.
Be prepared to demonstrate a clear market insertion point to us. If you’re a consumer startup, our bar is even higher. We look for early traction. We’ve learned data is the best evidence of what resonates and what doesn’t with consumers.