It was May 3rd, 2012, in a bar close to the Zalando office in Berlin when we discussed our very first angel investment. We wrote a 30k EUR check into a Berlin-based startup. It was the biggest amount of money we had ever invested into one single asset. It felt a bit scary. The company is not around anymore today. It was the birth of Cherry.
After that, 58 more investments followed, among them Amboss, Auto1, Automation Hero, DashDash, Flixbus, Flaschenpost, Infarm, Quandoo, Rekki, TourRadar, Wunder, and many more. Until today, we’ve invested over EUR 100 million across our portfolios. In total, our portfolio companies have raised over EUR 2 billion in follow-on capital from some of the most renowned investors in Europe and the U.S. Despite calling Berlin our home, over half of our portfolio companies are based outside of Germany and we have partnered with founders from more than 25 different nationalities. Our current portfolio looks like this:
Today, we’re excited to share that we have closed our newest 175M EUR fund, Cherry Ventures III, allowing us to continue our mission: to build the most founder-centric early-stage fund in Europe, supporting the most ambitious entrepreneurs in building successful and sustainable businesses.
Over the last 6 years we were privileged to work with some of the most inspiring founders in Europe. We were among the first investors into businesses that are reshaping entire industries today, which makes us incredibly proud and thankful.
Although we will start investing from our new fund this month our strategy will remain unchanged. We back founders at the seed stage, and partner with them for the full rollercoaster ride of building a business, in good and in tough times.
We remain long on Europe as one of the most exciting places in the world to build and invest in companies. We invest with high conviction and write around 10 cheques a year — not more, in order to be able to deliver our value proposition.
Founder NPS remains our number one KPI. Everything we do at Cherry is to provide the best possible support and take as much weight off the shoulders of our founders as we can. Our motto #foundersfirst is never going to change. We believe all of our work, know-how, network and experience as investors and entrepreneurs should be focussed on increasing our founders’ chances to build large, successful and sustainable businesses. Our focus on several core industries has allowed us to deeply understand relevant value chains and identify potential for disruption through technology.
With the new fund we continue to broaden the investment team and open our partnership to set the basis for the long-term success of Cherry.
Alex will take the role as CFO and Operating Partner. He will be responsible for our internal processes and teams at Cherry. Having joined us in 2016 from Morgan Stanley in London, Alex has proven over the last years to be a strong team leader and his responsibilities already today reach well beyond finance and investor relations topics. Alex’ new role will also allow the investment team to focus on deal sourcing and portfolio support as Cherry grows in portfolio size.
In addition, we are happy to announce Thomas will be promoted to partner with the new fund. Thomas was the first to join Cherry on the investment side and he is a perfect example of our Cherry DNA, being an ex-founder and operator. After starting his career at Bertelsmann and Random House in New York, he graduated from Harvard Business School in 2013. He went on to co-found a company in the online loyalty space called Bonusbox. Thomas has already led several investments in our last fund and has been closely working with our portfolio companies Twaice, Homelike, Cosuno, Unlock, Talea and DashDash among others.
We also made another senior addition to the investment team by bringing Charlotte Bruce on board as a principal. Charlotte is an ex operator and brings over 10 years experience founding and scaling businesses to acquisition and IPO across EMEA & APAC. She holds a PhD in Clinical Neuroscience from Cambridge University and gained additional work experience at Goldman Sachs.
We’re beyond excited to be able to continue building Cherry — it’s a great privilege to make our contribution to the exciting development of European tech!
There are three important groups we would like to say thank you to:
First, our LPs. To back a young team like ours when we started out was not obvious. We could have raised significantly more capital based on the interest from existing and new LPs but decided to stay close to our original fund size and only bring on a few selected new LPs to this new fund. We hope to be able to return your trust with a couple of 🦄🦄🦄 we find along the way.
Second, our co-investors. We feel privileged to have had the honour to invest alongside some of the brightest minds in our industry, including Accel, Atomico, Balderton, Benchmark, Cavalry, DN Capital, DST, Endeit, General Atlantic, Hoxton, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Index, LaFamiglia, Lakestar, LocalGlobe, Northzone, Partech, Passion Capital, Piton Capital, Point9, Silverlake, Softbank, Spark Capital, Speedinvest, TCV, Tiger Global and many more.
And last, but actually FIRST: Thank you to our founders. You are the reason we’re here, the reason we’re in this for the long run. You rock!