2023 has been another fantastic year for Dawn, filled with some significant moments. During the year, we closed our $700m fundraise, led the Series A rounds of FlowX.AI and Brite Payments, saw SAP acquire LeanIX, welcomed 13 new joiners to our team, and moved into our new HQ! We have also seen our founders and portfolio companies continue to go from strength to strength, delivering many headline-generating successes.
As the year draws to a close, we’ve created a wrap-up of some key milestones and moments from across the year. We would also like to thank all of our founders, investors, advisors and friends for your ongoing support and insights over the past 12 months — we are all tremendously grateful. Here’s to another brilliant year together in 2024!
- Dan was promoted to Partner. We started the year with Dan’s very well-deserved internal promotion to Partner. Dan joined us as an Associate back in 2018 and today is one of the one of the most high-profile fintech investors in Europe. Read our conversation with him about his promotion here.
- The former UK Chancellor joined Copper’s Board. Our portfolio company Copper, the next-generation platform for the digital assets ecosystem, welcomed the former UK Chancellor, Lord Philip Hammond, as its Board Chair — an appointment that was covered in the Financial Times.
- We welcomed Ties to lead our data and AI strategy. Ties joined us from Google to enable us to share even more in-depth insights with our founders. Read about Ties’ journey to Dawn here.
- Daniela took a deep dive into usage-based pricing. She explored the approach, its advantages and potential pitfalls for founders considering usage-based pricing here.
- Our GP, Josh shared his picks for Insider’s ‘European fintech startups to watch in 2023’. Josh highlighted payments infrastructure startup, Paytrix as well as our portfolio company, spend-management platform, Soldo. Read the full list here.
- Julie joined as our first ESG Advisor. With Julie bringing her consulting experience to support Dawn and our portfolio companies to enhance our ESG processes and implement a Net Zero Strategy.
- Forbes and Sifted recognised Daniela and Evgenia as two of our female trailblazers. We were incredibly proud to see our investor, Daniela appear on Forbes’ closely-watched 30 under 30 list, and our GP, Evgenia recognised as one of the top female investors in Europe by Sifted.
- Dan shared his five top tips for founders looking to succeed in a challenging environment. Read Dan’s advice in his Maddyness piece here.
- Quantexa achieved unicorn status — and the UK Prime Minister sent his congratulations! The leading decision intelligence platform, Quantexa raised $129 million in Series E funding and reached a milestone $1.8 billion valuation. We’ve supported Vish and his team from the beginning and could not be prouder of their achievements. Read Henry’s blog on helpful lessons to take from Quantexa’s success story.
- Daniela clarified with a few experts on how venture debt really works. Our investor, Daniela interviewed Bootstrap Europe’s Eliott Saba, Hercules Capital’s James Downing and SVB / HSBC’s Juliet Rogan for a great piece in Tech.eu exploring how venture debt can operate as a helpful, non-dilutive supplement to equity in fuelling growth.
- Our investment team got bigger with Owen joining as our newest investor. Owen joined us from Depict, the Swedish B2B startup building an ecommerce personalisation engine.
- We published our thoughts on the next untapped fintech opportunities. With our investors, Daniela and Dan sharing their views on the fintech innovators that will power the next phase of global e-commerce growth.
- We led FlowX.AI’s $35 million Series A round. FlowX.AI is a game-changing AI-enabled enterprise application modernisation platform enabling financial institutions to build cutting-edge digital products on top of legacy tech stacks within weeks, rather than years. Our GP, Evgenia explained more about why we invested here, with Sifted and TechCrunch also covering the news.
- We welcomed three more team members. Our team grew with the addition of Sam as our Events & Community Lead, Maisha as our Communications Associate, and Gurvinder as our Financial Controller.
- We were incredibly proud to see our Data Lead, Ties be recognised as a data in VC thought leader! Ties was named in datadrivenvc.io’s report on the current “data revolution” happening in venture, recognising how he is using data insights to uncover potential investment opportunities and optimise productivity for our team.
- We moved into our new home! Our team moved into our new eco-friendly, much loved offices at Ilona Rose House in central London, and began hosting our first events. Please pop in and see us if you’re in Soho — we’re just a minute from Tottenham Court Road Tube station!
- Sifted’s ‘Rising 100’ Report celebrated our portfolio companies Fonoa, Qogita, Lokalise, BRYTER, Billie, Ably and Hoxhunt. The well-respected report shines a spotlight on the most promising and innovative companies disrupting the B2B SaaS ecosystem, and it was fantastic to see so many of our portfolio companies on the list.
- We were named the ‘Top Performing Venture Capital Fund Manager in Europe’ in 2023 by Preqin. We were honoured to receive this accolade from Preqin, the most comprehensive provider of data and insights to the alternative asset management industry.
- We expanded our legal team with another fantastic new joiner. Lucia joined as our first paralegal and is working closely with our Head of Legal, Adina to support on all things compliance and legal.
- Our investors, Shamillah and Nils were named in Insider’s Rising Stars of 2023! We were thrilled to see Shamillah and Nils recognised for their achievements as two investors driving innovation and growth in the European VC landscape in the outlet’s list of rising stars making waves in 2023.
- We shared our insights on the GenAI stars emerging in Europe. Our investors, Shamillah and Zoe published their heavily researched deep dive into the European GenAI ecosystem and the applications set to change the world as we know it.
- Avalon was promoted to Director of Talent. Avalon joined us back in 2021 as Head of Talent from the executive search firm Russell Reynolds and has been instrumental in supporting our companies to grow their teams and talent around the world, as well as our team too.
- We welcomed three more new members to our team. Skye joined us as our newest investor from Bain & Company, with a particular focus on fintech investments. Frankie joined our finance team as Junior Accountant to support all our accounting and tax matters, and Kate joined as an Executive Assistant to help our Partners, Norman, Evgenia, Dan and Henry.
- We saw LeanIX make a stellar exit to SAP. Our portfolio company, specialising in managing Enterprise Architecture and multi-cloud environments, LeanIX, was acquired by SAP in a landmark deal — which was true testament to the hard-work and ambition of its founder André and his team. Our Partner, Mina shared some learnings for other founders from LeanIX’s landmark acquisition here.
- We published our views on the developments in the RPA and automation space. As a $5bn market today, and one of the breakout B2B software technologies of the last decade, our investors, Shamillah and Owen explored what Generative AI might mean for RPA and the likely winners.
- We hosted an ‘Unlocking GenAI’ panel with our friends at Salesforce Ventures. It was a pleasure to host this event at our new HQ, and to share the expert panellists’ top tips on successfully implementing GenAI with our community.
- We announced our $700m fundraise! We were hugely excited to announce this major milestone in our journey, which will enable us to continue investing in the next generation of European B2B software winners. We were also honoured to see the news appear on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in New York, and grateful to receive such positive reception from so many media outlets, including Sifted, TechCrunch and The Times, and from all our friends and peers.
- Hannah, our multi-talented Head of Investor Relations and Marketing, was promoted to Partner. Hannah was promoted following our fundraise and in recognition of her pivotal contributions to our firm since she joined us in 2020. Hannah spoke with Ryan Brown at CNN about our fundraise and her promotion.
- Our GP Norman wrote an open letter to European B2B entrepreneurs. Where he shared what our latest funds might mean for them.
- Francesca was promoted to Operations Manager. In recognition of her integral contributions to our team and exceptional support of our investor relations and marketing functions since she joined us in 2022, Francesca now leads all our Operations as well as our Front of House team.
- Holly was promoted to Operations Associate. Holly supports our Operations Manager, Francesca on the seamless day-to-day running of our internal functions and processes.
- We led Brite Payments’ $60m Series A round. We invested in the phenomenal Lena and her rapidly growing team to support their mission to accelerate instant bank payments across Europe. Read Dan’s piece on why we believe the future’s Brite for instant payments and backed this next generation platform to pay and get paid.
- We shared why we believe the French ecosystem is having a moment. With our investor, Pierre and Hugo, co-founder and CEO of our portfolio company, Omi, a platform enabling businesses to produce 3D content. They’ve put together a deep dive into the success of the French tech ecosystem — and particularly its AI innovation — with Maddyness.
- Three of our companies received some well-deserved recognition. Bloomberg recognised Quantexa as one of the Top 25 UK Startups to Watch in 2023, while data and insights network, AccessFintech and the insurtech for embedded insurance, Cover Genius were featured on CB Insights’ 2023 Fintech 100 list.
- We re-invested in Vulcan Cyber, joining their $55m Series B extension round. We first led the cyber risk management platform’s $21m Series B funding round in 2021 and can’t wait to see where the company goes from here. Read how the latest funding will fuel Vulcan’s growth in their piece with TechCrunch.
- We welcomed our new CFO, Alex. Alex joined us from our friends at Kindred Capital, where she built up the firm’s finance and operations functions from scratch over a six-year period. We sat down with Alex to learn more about her new role at Dawn and why she was attracted to venture.
- Our GP, Norman and Investor, Shamillah published their insights on product development. Most crucially sharing their views on how founders can resist ‘siren calls’!
- We also welcomed Cordelia to the team. Cordelia joined as our Front of House Coordinator and is now the first point of contact for all guests at our HQ.
- We won ‘VC Fund of the Year’ at the AltFi Awards 2023! The award is a fantastic milestone for Dawn, reflecting our ongoing commitment to backing Europe’s most ambitious early-stage B2B founders.
- To round off a great year, we welcomed another member into our team. Gavin joined as our Data Engineer, and will be working alongside our Data Lead, Ties to build-out our data strategy over the coming year.
- We published our views on whether the telecoms sector is finally ready to be disrupted by next-gen B2B software. A question our investors, Zoe and Shamillah explored through their deep dive into the most exciting disruptors emerging around the world.
- We also explored the emerging European ‘Know Your Business’ landscape. With our investors, Owen and Nils sharing their views on how the potential for a KYB solution is enormous.
- We shared our predictions for 2024! Maddyness spoke with our GP, Evgenia and Partner, Henry to find what they believe is in store for the VC and startup scene next year.
- And finally, in honour of the festive season, The Dawn Foundation has also made donations to support five charities close to our team: The Felix Project, The Whitechapel Mission, The Honeypot Children’s Charity, Noah’s Ark Hospice and The Lady Garden Foundation.