Early stage slump and new players in field – December 11


Hi there, dear reader. This week issue is focused more on VC funds prospective, here you can find some news from the inside of industry, latest investments, and new appiontments and recently originated VC funds all across Europe. Hope you will enjoy it. More news are coming!

– Artem and Alexander


Industry news

On the background of record amounts of capital raised by VCs worldwide hand in hand with the sharp rise in the number of private “unicorns” investments, the seed and early stage investing market has cooled substantially in the past few years. Techcrunch investigates the market behavior, suggests reasons for early stage slump and gives projections for the nearest future.


First Round Capital just published its second-ever State of Startups report, and it’s chock full of interesting sentiments from a survey of more than 700 founders — some of whom have ties to the early-stage venture firm and some who operate outside it.

Taken altogether, it suggests that founders remain highly optimistic about their chances of success, but they also sense that some of their leverage has slipped away when it comes to dealing with investors and raising subsequent rounds of follow-on funding.


Allie Burns of Village Capital has a list of (perhaps unorthodox) tactics VC firms can take to meet their own investor requirements while innovating on finding new, diverse talent to fund in “2017: Betting big on ideas in blind spots”.


Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation argues that until VC makes diversity a priority, it will continue to be a blocking force in the march towards equality in “VC Isn’t Concerned About Diversity. It Should Be.”


Latest Invest Rounds

Led by AXA Strategic Ventures (San Francisco, London), with participation from Nauta Capital, Sabadell, SIE and Histemi, Barcelona-based ForceManager (AI conversational sales assistant app for field sales teams) has raised $12m during its Series B fundraising campaign.


HPE Growth Capital led the round of fundraising for NGData, (Belgium-based customer experience management solutions company) with participation from existing investors including Idinvest Partners, Pamica, SmartFin Capital, Capricorn Venture Partners and Nausicaa Ventures.


European venture fund Nauta Capital has invested £1.65m in MishiPay, a two-year-old, London-based startup that has built mobile self-checkout technology that promises to put an end to queuing to pay.


Tengelmann Ventures, Mülheim/Ruhr, btov Partners, and a number of angel investors helped Idagio (a German classical music streaming service) to close the Series A round with a €8m investment. The paid service, launched in 2015, currently lists 140,000 recordings and compensates rightsholders on a play-per-second basis.


Led by Crane Venture Partners, investors Peter Simon (founder of retailer Monsoon) and Steve Garnett (former chairman of Salesforce EMEA), a three-year-old London-based machine learning firm Avora has raised £1.5m AVORA offers a Software as a Service solution that redefines how companies get value from their data.


Susquehanna Growth Equity has invested $12.7m in Graduway, a four-year-old, London-based maker of alumni software in Series B funding. Graduway is trusted by 500+ education institutions and non-profits, including UCLA, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Oxford, to manage their online alumni career communities.



Viola Group has held a $100m first close for a new global fintech fund. The firm ultimately hopes to raise between $120m and $150m. Viola is an Israel-focused tech investor with more than $2.8b in total AUM.


Revolution Ventures launches $150m “Rise of the Rest Seed Fund” with dream team of investors. The team includes Jeff Bezos, Sara Blakely, Tory Burch, Dan Gilbert, Ted Leonsis, Sheila Johnson, and world-class investors and executives. The influence of fund will be spread outside Silicon Valley, New York and Boston, considering the lack of seed investments in other Americain hubs.


Matt O’Connell, a Wall Street veteran, has become a partner with London-based Seraphim Capital, which runs thematically focused venture funds in the space tech sector. Matt is widely recognized as a leading authority on the commercialization of geospatial data, having led GeoEye, Inc., a global provider of geospatial intelligence solutions as CEO for 12 years.



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