A few weeks back, when the whole world changed, we knew we’d have to adapt alongside it. Slowing down or reducing our commitment to back new, early-stage founders was not an option so we had to find a way to bring the magic, energy and interactive nature of our in-person, pre-seed Investment Forum and translate it into a new, online-only experience. 

Since launching Fund IV in late 2017, we’ve introduced many new processes to help us maintain our high-volume of early-stage investments and to ensure we’re able to meet as many new European founders as possible. As part of our rolling and open submissions on our website, every 6-8 weeks we hold an ‘Investment Forum’ where we invite pre-seed companies we’ve been following and who’ve already pitched to our investment team, present in front of our own LPs. This tends to be a fast-paced, half-day affair where we have up to 15 companies from all across Europe present their business ideas in front of leading later stage investors and high-net-worths, enabling early-stage founders to get on the radar of growth funds and opening up potential syndication opportunities with some of the angel investors in the room. 

Some of our core team steering the ship during our first digital-only Investment Forum

With 35 LPs dialling in from seven different countries and presentations from 11 pre-seed startups across five, we wanted to break down how we made it work and why online-only should not in any way deter founders from seeking funding or investors from backing new companies. Now more than ever is a time for innovation and solutions that will fundamentally help with changes to the way we live, interact and buy.

Don’t forget, if you are an early-stage founder looking for investment, submissions are open on our website right here.

Planning:

We definitely had some serious questions about how we would be able to migrate our Investment Forum into an online-only format and what it would mean from a relationship perspective, both in terms of getting to know new founders and being able to engage with our own LPs. Thankfully, with the right tech tools, team and planning, we were able to come up with an incredibly detailed operation to ensure a slick operation.

The Objective

To reduce friction in an online-only arena creating a seamless experience where multiple pre-seed founders can present their businesses, investors feel engaged and stay for the duration and our core team participates throughout, ultimately leading to us investing in multiple new companies. 

Once clear on what we wanted to achieve, we then created an incredibly detailed breakdown of roles, responsibilities and testing of the best tech tools to help us get there. 

The Tools

On the day

All events, be them online or offline, have their glitches. Thankfully, the biggest issue we experienced was connectivity problems for one of the founders presenting – bring on 5G? Our team was split across founder management, tech and presenting, ensuring all elements ran as smoothly as possible and maintaining engagement levels from our LPs.

The Outcome

We’re thrilled to announce our investment in three new companies as a result of our first ever remote-only Investment Forum. These companies are tackling everything from driving better standards in carbon markets to extracting knowledge from recorded meetings and providing better medical staff profiling for career growth and research collaboration. 

Our pre-seed Investment Forum takes place every 6-8 weeks and provides highly competitive terms for founders. The next one will take place in the middle of May. If you’d like to be considered and join the likes of TransferWise, Revolut and UiPath and become part of the Seedcamp Nation then we’d love to know what you’re building right here.

We believe although the world is currently in flux, that with these sort of occurrences also comes an opportunity for great things to be built by great people and we are here to back these founders and be a part of that journey from the earliest stage on.

Seedcamp Fund IV closes at £60M with support from over 100 founders, mentors and angels from across the Seedcamp Nation

Reshma Sohoni, Tom Wilson, Sia Houchangnia, Natasha Lytton, Miguel Pinho, Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Kyran Schmidt, Antonia Whitecourt

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!