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国际资讯投融资

英国早期风投firstminute募资1亿美元,重点关注AI、区块链、SaaS

国际资讯投融资

英国早期风投firstminute募资1亿美元,重点关注AI、区块链、SaaS

来自英国的早期阶段风险投资公司firstminute Capital成立于去年6月,欧洲风投公司Atomico作为其第一个投资者,投资了6000万美元。之后,又有来自欧洲和美国的30名独角兽创始人加入。 去年9月,他们又引进了一家庞大的中国公司——腾讯,使得基金规模达到8500万美元。

昨日,这家来自伦敦的泛欧种子基金firstminute Capital宣布完成了新一轮的募资,金额达到1亿美元。该公司也详细介绍了自9月份以来的首批早期投资。

投资者中新加入了两家机构投资者,分别是市值600亿欧元的快速消费品(FMCG)行业巨头Henkel,以及欧洲最大私人银行之一的Lombard Odier。

该基金有三个合伙人: Brent Hoberman CBE、Spencer Crawley和Henry Lane-Fox。Hoberman是伦敦企业支持孵化器/加速器Founders Factory的董事长兼联合创始人,也是创始人论坛(Founders Forum)的创始人之一。该论坛是一系列仅供邀请参加、但颇具影响力的年度全球领先企业家活动。他于1998年4月共同创办了lastminute.com,并于2005年以11亿美元的价格卖给了Sabre。联合创始人兼一般合伙人Crawley之前曾在AppDirect(位于旧金山的云商务平台提供商,获Peter Thiel的Mithril Capital支持,最新估值超过10亿美元)负责过业务发展部门,也是DMC Partners的投资助理以及高盛莫斯科办事处的分析师。Lane-Fox是创始人论坛的合伙人,Founders Factory的联合创始人兼首席执行官,SmartUp.io的联合创始人,以前也曾是lastminute.com创始团队的成员。

Hoberman说:“我们很高兴能够看到firstminute达到一个重要的里程碑,这将有助于我们继续支持全球最雄心勃勃的企业家。最新的投资者将进一步提高我们的实际影响力,而我们的投资组合创始人也正在飞速的取得进展。凭借年轻而勤奋的投资团队以及宝贵的合资伙伴,我们希望能够实现自己的品牌承诺,成为欧洲最有帮助的种子基金。我们的初始目标是筹资6000万美元,因此能够以1亿美元收官对欧洲科技业来说,是一个强烈的信号。”

该基金与创始人论坛的关系是非常重要的。Hoberman策划了创始人投资者和新创业者的折中组合,这使得他能够为他的基金挖掘到广泛的热心投资者。奥巴马竞选演讲稿撰稿人、Swing联合创始人Tommy Stadlen,是firstminute的投资者和合资合伙人。

firstminute表示,它的重心主要在欧洲,但它也能够灵活地参与美国和以色列的本地融资活动,并计划向种子阶段创企投资100万美元。虽然尚不清楚该基金的投资领域,但据了解,该基金对机器人、垂直人工智能、健康科技、区块链、SaaS、网络安全、游戏和D2C特别感兴趣。该基金还公布了其投资组合公司迄今为止的更多详情,包括:剑桥自动驾驶创企Wayve、燃料输送业务Zebra、无线充电平台Chargifi、ICO交易所Templum(已经融资1000万美元)。

firstminute表示,其投资组合中的三个都在投资后的六个月内进行了多轮融资。迄今为止,他们的17项投资地理分布在英国、德国、葡萄牙、以色列和美国。

家族理财室也高度参与到该基金。其中包括JCDecaux家族(60亿欧元市值业务),Abersoch Davies男爵(前劳工大臣兼渣打银行CEO兼董事长),Paul Ruddock爵士(Lansdowne Partners前首席执行官兼牛津大学基金会主席)和Alex de Carvalho( Public.io创始人兼Heineken非执行董事)。

firstminute现在还推出了由六名投资者组成的全职运营团队:Lina Wenner(剑桥,BCG),Camilla Mazzolini(OLX,Berenberg),Elliot O'Connor(Code at Uni创始人),Sam Endacott(高盛),Anais Benazet(创始人论坛)和Clara Lindh(前自由记者)。

此外,还有三名合资合伙人。Steve Crossan,前DeepMind和Google员工,Brandwatch.com的联合创始人兼前CTO,目前也是Atomico的XIR;Arek Wylegalski,伦敦Index Ventures的前员工,目前在区块链领域探索机会;以及Tommy Stadlen。

New UK early stage VC firstminute Capital launched in June last year to the tune of $60m, with European VC Atomico  as its first cornerstone investor. They were joined by 30 unicorns founders from Europe and the US. Last September they brought in the huge China-based company, Tencent reaching a fund size of $85m.

Today firstminute capital, the London-based pan-European seed fund announced a final close of $100m, and detailed its first batch of early-stage investments made since September.

Two institutional investors have now joined. Henkel, the €60bn publicly-listed FMCG giant, is making its first investment into a European seed fund, and Lombard Odier, one of Europe’s largest private banks, also joins.

The fund has three partners: Brent Hoberman  CBE, Spencer Crawley and Henry Lane-Fox. Hoberman is chairman and co-founder of Founders Factory,  a corporate-backed incubator/accelerator based in London, and also of Founders Forum, a series of invitation-only, but influential annual global events for leading entrepreneurs. He co-founded lastminute.com in April 1998, and sold to Sabre for $1.1bn in 2005. Crawley is co-founder and General Partner was previously Business Development at AppDirect (a San Francisco-based cloud commerce platform provider, backed by Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital, latest valuation $1bn+), Investment Associate at DMC Partners (Goldman Sachs spin-out Special Opportunities fund), and Analyst in the Moscow office of Goldman Sachs. Lane-Fox is a partner at Founders Forum, Co-founder and CEO of Founders Factory, Co-founder of SmartUp.io, and previously part of the founding team of lastminute.com.

Hoberman said: “We’re excited to reach a significant milestone for firstminute, that helps us continue to support the most ambitious entrepreneurs globally. The latest investors to get behind the fund further increase our ability to have real impact, and we are buoyed by the rapid progress our portfolio founders are making. With our young and hard-working investment team, and our invaluable venture partners, we are hopeful that we can make our brand promise – of aspiring to be Europe’s most helpful seed fund – a reality. We were aiming to raise $60m for our first fund, and so to have closed our first fund at $100m is a strong signal for European technology.”

The link to Founders Forum is not insignificant. Hoberman curates an eclectic mix of founders investors and new entrepreneurs which has allowed him to tap a wide range of enthusiastic investors to his fund. These include the co-founders of lastminute.com, Adyen, Supercell,  Skyscanner, Trulia,  Skype, Autonomy, Betfair, King.com, BlaBlaCar, Qunar, Carphone Warehouse, Datamonitor, PartyGaming, Tradex Technologies, Net-a-Porter, Capital One Bank, Fox Kids Europe, Webhelp, Airtel, PartyGaming and others, alongside other successes such as Marketshare, Ticketbis, Nordeus and LoveFilm. Tommy Stadlen, author, former Obama campaign speechwriter and co-founder of Swing, which exited to Microsoft, is both an investor in firstminute and a venture partner.

firstminute says it has a European focus – with the flexibility to follow local lead funding events in the US and Israel – and says it typically plans to invest $1m into seed-stage businesses.

There will be a sector agnostic remit for the fund, but wil take a particular interest in Robotics, vertical AI, Healthtech, Blockchain, SaaS, Cyber, Gaming and D2C.

The fund also released more details of its portfolio companies to date including:

  1. Cambridge self-driving start-up Wayve
  2. Fuel delivery business Zebra
  3. Wireless charging platform Chargifi
  4. ICO exchange Templum (which has raised an additional $10m).

Firstminute says three of its portfolio have raised subsequent rounds within 6 months of its investment.

The geographic spread of their 17 investments to-date has been UK, Germany, Portugal and Israel, as well as four investments in the US.

Family offices also feature heavily in the fund.

These include the JCDecaux family (€6bn market cap business), Baron Davies of Abersoch (former Labour minister and Standard Chartered CEO & Chairman), Sir Paul Ruddock (former CEO of Lansdowne Partners and Chairman of Oxford University’s Endowment) and Alex de Carvalho (founder of Public.io and Heineken  non-executive director).

Firstminute is also now introducing its full-time operating team consisting of six investors: Lina Wenner (Cambridge, BCG), Camilla Mazzolini (OLX,  Berenberg), Elliot O’Connor (founder of Code at Uni), Sam Endacott (Goldman Sachs), Anais Benazet (Founders Forum) and Clara Lindh (former freelance journalist).

Finally, three venture partners complete the set-up. Steve Crossan, formerly of DeepMind and Google  and co-founder and former CTO of Brandwatch.com, currently also an XIR at Atomico; Arek Wylegalski, formerly of Index Ventures in London, and currently exploring opportunities in the blockchain space; and Tommy Stadlen.


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