Today we are announcing the first closing of a new fund of €53m, targeted at early stage European technology companies. This first closing surpassed the original fund target of €50m. The fundraising process was unusually short and we were able to attract some of the most well respected LPs in the world. This is again a great validation that we are on the right track but we are also very aware that we have tons of work in front of us.
It’s now 3 years since Ben, John and I started InReach Ventures. In Sep 2015, our friends at H-FARM (led by CEO, Riccardo Donadon) seeded us with the first £3M to jumpstart the build-up of DIG (our technology platform).
These last 3 years have been intense and full of important milestones. Here’s what we have been able to achieve:
1 — We raised more capital to speed up the build up of DIG
We never disclosed it, but we actually raised more capital to be able to keep pushing the innovation envelop of our technology platform. The more we develop DIG, the more we understand we are just scratching the surface of what’s possible.
2 — We created a first investment vehicle
While we’ve been building the technology, we’ve been using it to source investments. We created a first investment vehicle and to date we have backed 8 startups.
3 — We built a promising portfolio investing in 8 startups
It’s still too early to draw conclusions on our portfolio but it’s fair to say that what we have achieved so far looks promising. Oberlo (our first investment) was acquired by Shopify (SHOP). Soldo has attracted a top investor in Accel. We have several companies in the portfolio such as Shapr3D, Loots and Tutorful that are getting ready to scale up. Kontena, Qriously and Traitly are in the process of finding product market fit.
4 — We have built a learning organization
The biggest achievement of all has been the team that we have been able to build. Arthur, Ghyslain, Karolina, Luca, Marina and Sean are teaching Ben, John and I something new every day. We all learn from each other. This is an incredible source of energy and is a key component of the firm’s culture. Learning is infectious at InReach: we learn from each other, we learn from our entrepreneurs, we learn from other firms, we learn from our shared experience and we learn from books. We are obsessed with creating this learning culture.
What we’ll do now is what we suggest all our entrepreneurs do: ruthless execution. We will focus our investment efforts on discovering the most promising startups, primarily in the areas of consumer internet, software as a service and marketplaces. We will be geographically agnostic and will invest in companies anywhere in Europe, from Helsinki to Barcelona, from Warsaw to Rome. In most cases we will be the first institutional investor with an initial cheque size of between €500K and €2m. We chose to limit the new fund size as we think this best fits our investment strategy.
We believe that the way we are interpreting venture capital is a form of entrepreneurship and for this reason we sit on the same side of the table as our entrepreneurs. With humility and hard work we share the same mantra with the entrepreneurs in which we invest. Since our first day of existence we: apply, learn and iterate