London-based early-stage European VC fund Backed is bolstering its place by including €75M to its Seed fund, whereas including one other €75M through a brand new follow-on fund car. 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 present portfolio corporations.
Companion 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 ‘Collection A’. We’re creating deeper edge in frontier markets like Biotech and Crypto; we’re bringing nascent communities collectively – similar to Coin-Op – in a significant means; and we’ve constructed an distinctive workforce to assist 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 mixture worth of €10.7Bn. It’s additionally claiming three unicorns: SkyMavis house owners of crypto recreation Axie Infinity; banking platform Thought Machine; and the Ethereum Layer 2 answer Immutable X. It’s additionally had exists similar to cellular gaming studio, Hutch Video games, which offered to MTG for $375M in November 2020.
LPs within the fund embody companies similar to Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (by way of their Sienna Capital car) and personal companies similar to Wilshire Associates, alongside 20 household places of work and over 20 entrepreneurs.
The query is, with so many early-stage VC funds now enjoying throughout Europe, what units Backed other than the others?
Backed says it’s all about being “human-centric”. That interprets into an 18-month founder assist 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 need to describe these as ‘events’ or not is as much as you, nevertheless it’s simply as nicely that, in trendy instances, UK Prime Minister Boris Johson has re-defined the which means of the phrase ‘work occasions’.
This emphasis on internet hosting interprets into 30 occasions yearly, from founder dinners to a 1,000 particular person occasion on the Finnish tech convention Slush, and co-hosting conferences similar 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 similar to Maximillian Bade, GP at Nucleus Capital, Abi Mohamed, Programme Lead at Tech Nation, Saloni Bhojwani, Companion at Pink Salt Ventures, and Nalden, Founding father of WeTransfer and Adelee.
In an interview de Haes advised me: “Throughout the pandemic, we launched three completely different sorts of workshop or webinar sequence for founders, similar to how do you survive a pandemic and the way do you take care of your folks. Now that we’re transferring again to an offline world… it’s ramping up once more. So this 12 months, 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, nevertheless, is how are all these occasions funded, given VCs aren’t often 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 need 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 Providers • 10% Manufacturing • 6% Magnificence / Vogue • 7% Meals / Agtech • 6% HR / Authorized • 4% Prescription drugs • 4% Property • 3% Utilities • 2% Training
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%)