London headquarters Firstminute Capital has announced its second early stage venture fund worth $ 111 million (£ 87 million). This new fund was founded in 2016 by Brent Hoberman CBE (best known as the co-founder of lastminute.com and MADE.com) along with Spencer Crawley (formerly Goldman Sachs), and was born after the first $ 100 million fund, initially manage one $ 211 million under management and start-up investments across Europe and the US.
The Firstminute team of 18 is based in London, Stockholm and Berlin and is now planning to open an office in LA next year.
What is remarkable is the fact that his LPs now count 70 founders of billion dollar companies as investors and that Firstminute is so open. VCs don't usually reveal much information about LPs. Hoberman has made clear use of his position as the founder of the Founders Forum group, which runs events and activities for European tech founders.
The fact that so many founders – mostly from European startups – have invested is unusual, certainly for European VC funds. It includes 16 founders of Decacorn technology companies valued at over $ 10 billion, including Palantir, Wayfair, Ocado, MongoDB, Zalando, Supercell, and Check Point, and founders of Huda Beauty, Graphcore, and Rappi. Includes board members and CEOs of large technology companies.
RIT Capital Partners is the fund's anchor investor. This is her first such position in a European venture capital company. Before that, they supported leading US funds such as Sequoia, Benchmark, Thrive and Iconiq. Other institutional investors include the Chinese technology giant Tencent, the FMCG conglomerate Henkel, the London-based venture fund Atomico and four multi-tier Californian companies.
Fund I's existing portfolio consists of 56 companies that have raised around USD 0.5 billion in funding.
According to Firstminute, half of the current portfolio companies are headquartered in the UK, with the remaining half split between continental Europe and North America. Two thirds of the companies are B2B companies and one third are B2C companies.
Hoberman said in a statement: “European technology is approaching the speed of escape and it is fantastic to give so many global serial entrepreneurs the opportunity to pass their experiences on to the next generation: We have over 70 Einhorn founders down this path and more so far. as we near the final end. Seed Venture Investing is attracting higher quality backers who will help more founders succeed. "
Crawley, Co-Founder and First Minute General Partner, said, “Our healthcare systems, workplaces and educational institutions are facing new complexities. The service economy has to re-imagine itself. The gap between financial markets and the real economy is widening (affecting the most vulnerable youth). Startups are not a panacea, but emerging tech companies play a key role in today's recovery strategy, both in the way they think and the products they will develop. "
I asked Hoberman to what extent the internationalization of the fund's geographic footprint is related to Brexit.
"Some investors asked us about the risks of Brexit for a UK-based fund and it was great to highlight the international nature of our approach," he said. "The potential threats posed by a bad Brexit deal made us move faster to cover more regions."
I also asked him what are the advantages or disadvantages of having as many founders as LPs lend to the fund.
“The operators understand the roller coaster of the founder trip well. They know that the path to success is rarely linear. You lived the scaling journey with all its challenges. You can impart this wisdom to the next generation.
“These founders are familiar with lightning scaling, board management, prioritization, fundraising, internationalization and, above all, the role of talents and teams. This knowledge can mean the difference between failure and extraordinary success.
"Additionally, successful founders often have a world-class network that is useful for recruitment, internationalization, and business development businesses," he said.
Firstminute also announced some team changes. Arek Wylegalski, formerly Index Ventures, is a partner of Fund II. Arek was a venture partner of the company during Fund I. Lina Wenner, formerly BCG, has been promoted to Associate Partner and Camilla Mazzolini, Clara Lindh Bergendorff and Sam Endacott have been promoted to Principals. Min Nolan, Head of Platform & Operations, and Anais Benazet, Head of Community, lead the portfolio support function, while Henry Lane-Fox, Steve Crossan and Tommy Stadlen continue to invest as venture partners.
First-minute equity fund supporters include the founders and / or executives of the companies listed below:
First Minute LPs – Founders of companies with over $ 10 billion in revenue include:
Joe Lonsdale (Palantir Technologies), Robert Gentz (Zalando), Niraj Shah (Wayfair), Tim Steiner (Ocado), Marius Nacht (Check Point), Kevin Ryan (MongoDB), Ilkka Paananen (Supercell), Adyen, Autonomy, Airtel.
First Minute LPs – Founders of companies with over $ 1 billion in revenue include:
Sebastian Mejia (Rappi), Ross Mason (MuleSoft), Pete Flint (Trulia), Martin Migoya (Globant), Vikrant Bhargava (PartyGaming), Martin Varsavsky (Jazztel, Fon, Eolia), Fabrice Grinda (OLX), Steve Fredette (Toast )), Rafi Gidron (Chromatis), Simon Nixon (Geldmarkt), Lars Hinrichs (XING), Johan Brand (Kahoot), Huda Kattan (Huda Beauty), Tom Chapman and Ruth Chapman (Matchesfashion), Nigel Toon (Graphcore), Carl Pei (OnePlus), Hanzade Dogan (Hepsiburada), Barry Smith (Skyscanner), Sir Charles Dunstone (Carphone Warehouse), Hamish Shephard (HelloFresh), Alexander Rittweger (Payback), Marketshare, King.com, BlaBlaCar, Qunar, Net-a – Porter, Fox Kids Europe, Webhilfe, Betfair, Datamonitor, Tradex Technologies, Zoopla.
First Minute LPs – Current or Past CEOs and Chairs, including:
Eric Schmidt (former chairman and CEO of Google), Michael Lynton (chairman of Snap and Warner Music Group, former CEO and chairman of Sony), Sir Paul Ruddock (co-founder and former CEO of Lansdowne Partners, chairman of Oxford University Endowment), Lord Mervyn Davies (chairman of Corsair Capital, former minister and CEO and chairman of Standard Chartered), Linda Fayne Levinson (former chairman of Hertz), Jeremy Coller (founder, chairman and CIO of Coller Capital), David Giampaolo (chairman, Gousto), Ian Gallienne (CEO, Sienna Capital), Alexander de Carvalho (co-founder and CIO of Public.io, Heineken NED), Babatunde Soyoye (co-founder and managing partner, Helios Investment Partners), Nextdoor, PicsArt, Booking.com, Nordeus, Kinnevik AB, JCDecaux Holdings.
First Minute LPs – Institutional Investors Including:
RIT Capital Partners, Tencent, Atomico, Henkel, Felicis Ventures, The Raine Group, LionTree Partners and Lombard Odier.