Connect Ventures, the London-based seed-stage VC that was an early investor in Citymapper and Typeform — and extra just lately backed scaling startups akin to Curve and TrueLayer — is saying a brand new $80 million fund to proceed investing in “product-led” founders.
Backing the brand new fund is a mixture of current and new LPs together with Prime Tier Capital Companions, Isomer Capital, the U.Ok. taxpayer’s British Affected person Capital, De Agostini, Large Society Capital, Draper Esprit and Korelya Capital. Join’s final fund, raised in 2016, was round $62 million primarily based on right now’s change fee, so this can be a barely bigger quantity of deployable capital.
Launched again in 2012 when there was nonetheless a really restricted provide of institutional capital at seed-stage in Europe (and when seed cheques have been usually known as Collection A!), Join Ventures is pan-European and invests in B2B and client software program classes together with SaaS, fintech, digital well being and “future of labor”.
Working all through the agency’s funding thesis is a product focus, with the assumption that “product-led, software program entrepreneurs” are the sorts of founders probably to remodel the way in which we dwell and work at scale.
You’ll be able to see this digital product bent all through a number of its portfolio corporations. For instance, as B2B SaaS corporations go, Typeform is about as product-focused as they arrive. Extra clearly, client fintech performs akin to finance app Emma, and all-your-cards-in-one app Curve, additionally dwell and die by their respective apps — a theme that may proceed going ahead with this third fund.
“We’re eager about constructing long run relationships with founders who’ve the obsession and focus required to construct product-led corporations, and the ambition to construct class leaders,” says Sitar Teli, common companion at Join Ventures, in a press release.
One different notable factor about Join Ventures is that it has all the time and continues to do fewer offers per yr than many seed-stage companies — so-called “conviction investing”, as it’s usually referred to right now. In different phrases, the alternative to a twig ‘n’ pray strategy that favours diversification. Meaning not solely inserting larger (and due to this fact riskier) bets in a smaller variety of early-stage corporations, but additionally throwing extra help behind these investments, together with taking a board seat, in a bid to assist tip the scales in the direction of success.
“We’ve deliberately created a low quantity, excessive conviction, excessive help funding agency to again these founders,” provides Teli. “That’s why we’ll be focusing on the identical curated variety of seed investments with this fund, utilizing the bigger fund measurement to supply the correct capital and help on our journey collectively”.
On that be aware, Join says it has already began deploying this fund with current investments. They embrace BSit (the subscription-based childcare and babysitting platform), Oyster (the distributed expertise enablement platform), and, as already talked about, fintech Emma.
Alongside Teli, Join Ventures’ two different common companions are Pietro Bezza and Rory Stirling (see TechCrunch’s earlier protection of Stirling’s recruitment). The agency has backed over 50 startups to this point.