Early stage Euro VC Backed brings in one other €150M, and places a heavy concentrate on founder occasions – TechCrunch
London-based early-stage European VC fund Backed is bolstering its place by including €75M to its Seed fund, whereas including one other €75M by way of a brand new follow-on fund automobile. The ‘Backed Core 2’ fund will proceed to put money into seed-stage startups, whereas the brand new ‘Backed Encore 1’ will do follow-on investments in later-stage rounds of current portfolio corporations.
Accomplice Alex Brunicki mentioned in a press release: “We’ve pushed ourselves to be an entrepreneurial fund… I’d say we’ve made it to our ‘Sequence A’. We’re creating deeper edge in frontier markets like Biotech and Crypto; we’re bringing nascent communities collectively – akin to Coin-Op – in a significant approach; and we’ve constructed an distinctive staff to help our founders at scale.”
Co-founded and launched in 2016 by Companions Andre de Haes and Brunicki, Backed says it now has 67 corporations with an combination worth of €10.7Bn. It’s additionally claiming three unicorns: SkyMavis homeowners of crypto sport Axie Infinity; banking platform Thought Machine; and the Ethereum Layer 2 answer Immutable X. It’s additionally had exists akin to cellular gaming studio, Hutch Video games, which offered to MTG for $375M in November 2020.
LPs within the fund embody companies akin to Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (by means of their Sienna Capital automobile) and personal companies akin to Wilshire Associates, alongside 20 household places of work and over 20 entrepreneurs.
The query is, with so many early-stage VC funds now taking part in throughout Europe, what units Backed aside from the others?
Backed says it’s all about being “human-centric”. That interprets into an 18-month founder help programme, with management coaching, workshops, in-house recruiter, psychological well being service suppliers and an in-house government coach for founders and management groups.
In different phrases: a big swathe of coaching and occasions. Backed’s different ‘particular sauce’ – it says – is loads of off-sites and founder retreats. Whether or not you wish to describe these as ‘events’ or not is as much as you, but it surely’s simply as effectively that, in fashionable occasions, UK Prime Minister Boris Johson has re-defined the that means of the phrase ‘work occasions’.
This emphasis on internet hosting interprets into 30 occasions yearly, from founder dinners to a 1,000 individual social gathering on the Finnish tech convention Slush, and co-hosting conferences akin to Coin-Op, a world blockchain-gaming summit held on the London Science Museum.
Backed additionally has 60 Enterprise Scouts in its community throughout Europe akin to Maximillian Bade, GP at Nucleus Capital, Abi Mohamed, Programme Lead at Tech Nation, Saloni Bhojwani, Accomplice at Pink Salt Ventures, and Nalden, Founding father of WeTransfer and Adelee.
In an interview de Haes advised me: “In the course of the pandemic, we launched three completely different sorts of workshop or webinar collection for founders, akin to how do you survive a pandemic and the way do you take care of your folks. Now that we’re shifting again to an offline world… it’s ramping up once more. So this yr, for instance, we’ve acquired two three-day retreats in Italy and Ibiza for founders, six crypto gaming occasions. So it’s we’re going again to a way more in-person expertise.”
The query, nonetheless, is how are all these occasions funded, given VCs aren’t normally within the occasions enterprise?: “We’re funding from administration charge and from voluntary contributions that attendees make up the occasions,” de Haes advised me. “After which from sponsors, so AWS, Pernod Ricard – these types of companies wish to be related to this clan of individuals.”
What subsequent, a Backed ‘Fyre Competition’?
BACKED’S INVESTMENT SECTORS (# OF INVESTMENTS)
• 21% Web3 / Blockchain • 15% Gaming & Leisure • 12% Biotech • 10% Monetary Companies • 10% Manufacturing • 6% Magnificence / Style • 7% Meals / Agtech • 6% HR / Authorized • 4% Prescription drugs • 4% Property • 3% Utilities • 2% Schooling
FOUNDER DEMOGRAPHICS (Noticed)
• White male (71.2%) White feminine (6.3%) • Black male (1.8%) Black feminine (4.5%) • Asian/NBPOC male (13.5%) Asian/NBPOC feminine (2.7%)