If you happen to plan to launch a brand new startup in France, Denmark or Sweden, there’s a new seed fund in search of your pitch. Emblem is saying at the moment that it has raised practically $54 million (€50 million) for a brand new European seed fund. And that is solely the primary shut — the agency expects to boost as a lot as $80 million (€75 million) by the top of the yr.
Emblem was based by Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan and Guillaume Durao. This isn’t the primary time Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan’s title seems on TechCrunch as she was once an entrepreneur herself. I first lined her startup Clustree back in 2014.
Clustree was a expertise administration and HR platform that was acquired by Cornerstone OnDemand. Some enterprise angels like Frédéric Montagnon and Florian Douetteau have been fairly instrumental in Clustree’s trajectory, so she began investing in startups herself after promoting Clustree.
Guillaume Durao has been an investor for a number of years. He labored for Mangrove Capital Companions and Idinvest (the VC agency that’s now a part of Eurazeo). Whereas each companions are French natives, Durao has labored in Denmark and has been fairly lively within the Nordic tech ecosystem. He has additionally invested a few of his personal cash as a enterprise angel as properly.
Earlier than launching Emblem, Durao and de Raphélis Soissan have already constructed an fascinating portfolio of angel investments. They invested in crypto buying and selling card sport Sorare, pet insurance coverage startup Dalma and cultivated meat firm Gourmey. Along with these French startups, additionally they invested in Growblocks and All Gravy in Denmark, Ark Kapital and Goals in Sweden, and extra.
The following logical step is a correct seed fund with extra capital. Emblem needs to steer or co-lead seed investments with a typical funding ranging between €500,000 and €3 million. General, the agency needs to put money into 25 to 30 tech corporations with its preliminary fund.
Whereas Emblem lists just a few verticals, akin to AI, B2B SaaS, fintech, future of labor and digital well being, the agency doesn’t have a particular give attention to some industries. It’s a generalist tech seed fund.
As for the agency’s backers, Emblem managed to boost funds from the Danish sovereign fund Vaekstfonden, institutional traders like Edenred, a number of French and Nordic household workplaces, in addition to tech entrepreneurs in search of funding alternatives. Among the entrepreneurs who invested in Emblem embrace the founders of 3shape, Dixa, Falcon, Kantox, Peakon, PeopleDoc, Planday, Pleo, Qonto, Silae, Spendesk, Swile and Zendesk.
There are two issues that make Emblem stand out from different French VC companies. First it focuses on French startups, but additionally Swedish and Danish startups. “Paris, Copenhaguen and Stockholm are the three most fascinating startup hubs after London and Berlin,” Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan instructed me.
Second, Emblem doesn’t need to turn into an early stage fund that additionally invests in Collection A rounds and even later. Certain, the agency will allocate a portion of its fund for follow-on investments in present portfolio corporations — however that’s it.
“We’re going to have an unique give attention to seed. The concept is that we aren’t going to boost a much bigger fund and begin investing in Collection A rounds,” de Raphélis Soissan stated.
A brand new wave of micro funds in Europe
It’s laborious to explain what a micro fund is. As many VC companies begin elevating greater and larger funds, every part else begins to seem like a micro fund.
Emblem is larger than a micro fund. However there are a handful of people elevating new funds with €5 million, €10 million or €15 million underneath administration. Similar to loads of profitable traders began VC funding with their very own micro funds within the U.S. just a few years in the past, the identical pattern is now rising in Europe as properly.
Throughout my dialogue with Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan, we talked about a few of these new funds. As an illustration, Anthony Danon and Carmen Alfonso Rico have been fairly lively with Cocoa. Gloria Baeuerlein is behind a brand new fund known as Past Capital. Pietro Invernizzi is at present elevating his personal fund.
I’ve additionally lined some greater funds which have popped up over the previous yr or so, akin to Resonance, Ovni Capital and Galion.exe. After which, there are additionally Teampact Ventures and Origins.
Whereas we’re at present going by a tech downturn, it’s fascinating to see that there are extra choices on the subject of early stage funding in Europe. And every fund has its personal funding thesis. These rising companions may faucet their very own community, which ought to create extra alternatives for the tech ecosystem as a complete.