Seedcamp Fund IV closes at £60M with support from over 100 founders, mentors and angels from across the Seedcamp Nation
We are delighted to announce the final close of Fund IV at £60M in a heavily oversubscribed round and to welcome over 100 founders, mentors, angels, friends and supporters of Seedcamp as new investors. The final close includes contributions of £2M from founders across our 11-year history and an innovative collaboration with equity crowdfunding platform, Seedrs.
We are thrilled to see so many founders we’ve backed along our journey now investing alongside us in the next generation of world-class entrepreneurial talent to come out of Europe. Founders backing Fund IV include the likes of Daniel Dines and Taavet Hinrikus from two of our unicorn companies – UiPath and TransferWise – and founders of acquired businesses MoveGuides, MyBuilder and Zemanta among many others. Seedcamp Fund IV is also supported by leading angel investors including Michael Pennington (Gumtree), Ed Wray (Betfair) and Barry Smith (Skyscanner).
Daniel Dines, CEO and Founder of UiPath – one of our three unicorns – comments, “Seedcamp took a chance on us back in 2015 when we were a team of just ten people in Romania and now, three years later, we have more than 590 employees across 14 countries and valued at over $1bn. I trust the Seedcamp team implicitly when it comes to uncovering and investing in new categories and Europe’s future leaders and am delighted to support the next generation of entrepreneurial talent to come out of Seedcamp.”
Other institutions backing Seedcamp Fund IV as part of the final close include Orange Digital Investments, Cachette Capital Management and MUFG.
At £60M Fund IV is over 30x bigger than our first fund of $2.5M dating back to 2007. In just six months since the first close of Fund IV at £41M we have already made 15 new investments backing the likes of Factmata, Sweatcoin, Pace, Homie, Vantik, doctorly, StepLadder, Maze and Veratrak and intend to double that by the end of this year.
Our co-founder and Managing Partner, Reshma Sohoni, comments, “The Seedcamp story is one that’s touched so many people across the world over our 11 years and we’re thrilled to welcome over 100 founders, mentors and angels from across the Seedcamp Nation who will play an active role in our future. At Seedcamp our ambition is bold to match that of our founders and we believe we have the perfect team and investors assembled to help our companies and our LPs achieve outsized results for Europe and beyond.”
In a pioneering move for both venture capital and equity crowdfunding space, Seedrs was chosen to raise a portion of Fund IV from the founders of Seedcamp-backed companies. Made possible by using Seedrs unique nominee structure, the feeder fund enables much smaller ticket investors to easily participate in the fund. This is the first time that a private equity marketplace platform such as Seedrs has helped a traditional fund this way.
Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Seedcamp Managing Partner, adds, “When we talk about Seedcamp as a lifelong community of support we really mean it; it’s amazing to have founders who we backed when we were first starting out join us as part of our new fund as we invest in the next generation of world-class entrepreneurial talent. Their investment would not have been possible if it weren’t for our partnership with Seedrs which has enabled us to bring on board so many of our founders.”
Jeff Kelisky, CEO at Seedrs, says: “This is a fantastic and genuinely innovative collaboration between the venture capital and equity crowdfunding spaces. We’re proud to have built an infrastructure that allows us to open up highly attractive funds, such as Seedcamp’s Fund IV, to more investors than ever possible before. We very much look forward to working with Seedcamp and their companies in the years to come.”
There’s so many learnings our future founders can take from the power of the Seedcamp Nation and we are confident we have the best possible team, investors and individuals assembled to champion and uncover breakout European businesses for the next decade and beyond.
Thank you to everyone who’s supported us on our journey so far. We can’t wait for what’s to come next!
We’re delighted to welcome the brilliant Devin Hunt as our newest Venture Partner.
As a designer, engineer and startup founder – on the founding teams of the likes of Lyst and Founder Centric – Devin knows what it takes to build a company from the ground-up. Following a stint in 2017 as part of our Expert in Residence program, Devin now joins the core team as Venture Partner and kicked off his new role by recently leading our inaugural Product Summit in collaboration with AWS.
We sat down with Devin to get the low-down on his experience and what he’s most excited to work with our companies on.
Devin, talk to us a bit about your background and how you first came into contact with Seedcamp?
I started my first business almost by accident. Myself and longtime collaborator Rob Fitzpatrick had been kicking around an idea to launch a video game studio. Rob discovered Y Combinator and we put together a pitch. The YC partners tore apart our business plan, but ultimately decided to invest in us because our tech demos: they demonstrated we could execute. That business – Habit (née Fuzzwich) – landed me in London in 2008. At the time, the European startup scene was quite young, with only a few stable companies in the mix; like Moo and Last.fm. Being an open and vibrant community, I quickly got to know Seedcamp and the team there.
If you had to pick a defining moment across your startup career, what would it be and why?
When we decided to shut down my first company definitely stands out. Building Habit was an education in itself. Every month I had to learn a new job and execute it somewhat competently. During my time there, I went from being just a coder to a project manager, accountant, ad exec, and so on. Nothing prepared me for the varied roles my co-founders and I would have to shoulder. To be honest, many of these jobs were a result of poor organization, but you must become a polymath to run an early stage business.
The realization and process of shutting down Habit was a hard lesson. At the final board meeting, we feared the worse. Tables flipped, investors throwing chairs, the works. In fact, quite the opposite happened. Our lead investors – who had been a great ally throughout the business – simply said (and I’m paraphrasing): “Yes. We probably should have closed the business three months ago. But I thought you knew something we didn’t. Well, let me know when you start your next thing.”
And with that, everything clicked. For us – the founders – the business was everything. But it also was just a business. No one was getting cheated out of millions of dollars. It was just an investment, among many. We gave our crazy idea an amazing shot, but it didn’t pan out. Time for the next one. In that meeting, I understood what it meant to “build” a startup. It was a lesson three years in the making, but it was a stupendous one.
What are some of the things you’re going to be working on as Venture Partner?
Alongside sourcing and helping Seedcamp with new deals, I’m working on two things. First, I’m mentoring new teams in the portfolio on product and strategy.
Secondly – and much more exciting – I recently led a brand new event for Seedcamp called the Product Summit. The Product Summit is an annual event where leadership from across Seedcamp’s portfolio comes together to learn from world-class experts and each other. The first one happened on 14th of May and it was a huge success. It featured amazing speakers – like Jeff Veen (True Venture, Typekit, Adaptive Path) and Alice Newton-Rex (WorldRemit) – and great sessions from all the founders involved.
What’s the best piece of design/product advice you could give an early-stage founder?
It has two parts. First, you need to focus on doing one thing that delights your customer. Just one thing. And you need to keep working on it until what that one thing is so good, people now depend on it. This does not mean it has to be in their face 24/7, but your product has to fundamentally change some aspect of their lives, no matter how small it is. I stress one thing because far to many startups die because they try to do way too much, way too quickly. Finding that one thing can be deceptively hard.
Secondly, you can not create these types of transformative products without learning everything about your audience and trying a plethora of approaches. Founders who have hundreds of conversations and use those conversations to drive hundreds of hacks, experiments, and prototypes have a much higher chance of creating that magical thing than those who hide away for 6 months, launch, and pray for success.
We’re thrilled to announce our investment in London-based startup Maze – the first startup of its kind to show how real users interact with design prototypes – as part of their £350K pre-seed round alongside Partech.
Maze is the first startup to perform quantitative user-testing at the design phase to provide designers with long-awaited actionable KPIs. With this concept, Maze wants to fundamentally change the way digital products are built by allowing designers & product teams to iterate quickly and effectively until their design is proven.
Maze is the brain-child of long-time friends & co-founders Jonathan Widawski, ex UX lead at Theodo, and Thomas Mary, former lead developer & architect. They came up with the idea while working on their previous startup: “We had an in-depth prototype of the product and 1,500 users in our waiting list eager to try it out. We looked at the market for solutions allowing us to easily send the prototype to our testers, but only found qualitative, video-based recording tools: we didn’t have the time nor the resources to spend 500 hours looking at footages to extract insights. That’s what got us started on our path to create Maze: a data-driven approach to design validation”.
Thomas Mary, adds, “The current design process creates a lot of frustration for product teams. Developers end up re-building features instead of implementing new ones simply because the design provided doesn’t work. This leads to a long and extremely costly iteration loop that could easily be solved by validating interfaces early.”
The team has already partnered with InVision and Marvel, the two world-leading prototyping tools, and is looking to integrate with more players as the company grows. Maze already counts more than 2,000 users, including designers from top tech companies (Uber, Ebay, IBM, Microsoft, Mastercard..), digital agencies (Digitas, Multiplica, HikerCompany) and even freelance designers who couldn’t afford user-testing solutions until then.
On the vision, Jonathan Widawski adds “At Maze we think that user testing solutions don’t align with today’s lean and agile way of building product, and we are convinced that our tool will help solve this. We want to make user-testing & user-research streamlined & affordable for designers, finally giving them a seat at the table when it comes to data.”
On the investment Seedcamp Venture Partner, Devin Hunt, comments, “Maze has transformed user testing, one of the most laborious aspects of product design, into a simple, fast, and quantifiable experience. Once you use it, you can’t imagine not having Maze in your design toolkit. I can’t wait to see the impact Maze will have on the product design profession. Suffice to say, we’re very excited to welcome Maze to the Seedcamp Nation.”
You’ll find more information on www.maze.design — already up and running. There you can also find explanations regarding the product, which you can try out with a free plan.
Copyright © 2019 Seedcamp
Website design × Point Studio