Breaking the taboo on investor returns

Fund 1 ranks in top quartile as “tsunami” of exits and money raised by Seedcamp companies in 2016 contributes to our most successful year


As the pioneers of early-stage investment in Europe and the first fund of its kind when we launched in 2007, we want to break the taboo on publication of early-stage investor returns by revealing details of our performance for the first time, as 2016 is set to become our most successful year.

Seedcamp companies have raised and exited for more than $250m in the first nine months of 2016 alone. Thanks to 8 successful exits in its Fund 1, we’ve returned cash of almost twice the capital raised to our limited partners. One of the standout exits of the year was the multi-million dollar sale of Stupeflix, the video editing software start-up to GoPro, the Nasdaq-listed camcorder technology company.

We’re very proud that our achievements this year put us in the top quartile of funds started in 2007, with an internal rate of return of 14.3%, according to data from Cambridge Associates.

Seedcamp was started in 2007 with 22 original investments. From the original portfolio there have now been 8 successful exits, 6 shut-downs, and eight businesses that continue to grow profitably. It is important to note that this data is as of 9 years for the 2007 vintage. We expect there will be further solid returns from the 8 remaining companies. We envision potentially reaching a 8x-10x return on money invested.

In another significant milestone, companies in which we have invested have since gone on to raise $500 million in further funding.

In 2016 alone, we’ve backed a total of 26 innovative new businesses which have set out to disrupt some of the fastest growing sectors including; insurtech, healthtech, legaltech, proptech and fintech.

Founding Partner, Reshma Sohoni said: “People often think tech businesses just become an overnight success but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Things can, however, happen in a ‘moment’ and that’s definitely what we’re experiencing right now. The moment where nine years of investing leads to a tsunami of maturation and therefore large growth rounds and exits.”

“We’re starting to see the real success of some of our investments come to fruition. This year alone we’ve had four significant exits and achieved an incredible acceleration in the amount our companies have gone on to raise, hitting the half a billion dollar mark. We returned 60 times our original investment on Stupefix, acquired by GoPro earlier this year, and have now fully returned our first fund. We are well and truly established as the leading first round fund in Europe and our results are launching us into the US too. Seedcamp is now the only European fund invested in US deals for groundbreaking new companies including and the waveVR.”

Carlos Espinal, partner, added: “Aside from backing the best founders, we are constantly looking at growing sectors to identify future investment opportunities. The fact we’ve now returned our investment from our first fund puts us in a strong position to continue to be the most proactive early-stage fund in Europe and attracting the best talent to Seedcamp. If you look back through the investments Seedcamp has made over the last nine years, you can see how the state of startups and funding in Europe is changing and for the better.”

Seedcamp has backed over 230 startups since launch in 2007 and continues to enjoy an unrivalled network that provides businesses backed by the fund with access to industry leaders, world-class advisors and investors to help them scale.

Seedcamp continues to be one of the most active investors in fintech with portfolio companies in this space achieving phenomenal results and raising significant rounds. These include:

  • $10m for UK-based Revolut, backed at pre-seed in 2015
  • $26m Series D by Transferwise
  • $28m Series A by FinanceFox, the largest of its kind in Europe in the insurtech space.
  • $4m for retail app commerce platform, Poq
  • $7m raised by Codeship, provider of hosted continuous integration (CI) solutions
  • $6m Series A by

Seedcamp-backed companies also continue to achieve successful exits, with four in 2016 alone. 

The four 2016 exits were:

  • Adtech company Brainient (2009), acquired by French rival Teads.
  • SME bank Holvi (2011) sold to banking giant BBVA
  • Acquisition of Stupeflix (2008) by GoPro
  • Farmeron (2011) sale to Virtus Nutrition

Read more in the press: FT ,   Business

Applications for the next round of pre-seed investment are now open. Apply here before 13th November 

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