Bonjour Louis, boa tarde Ricardo!
Introducing two new partners (and a new fund).
We’ve raised a new fund. If your immediate reaction is “so what?” — bingo. Raising a new fund as a VC is not that newsworthy per se. VCs have to raise a new fund every three years or so, just to stay default alive. However, VCs often use fund announcements to t̶a̶l̶k̶ ̶a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶l̶a̶t̶e̶s̶t̶ ̶m̶o̶r̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶r̶o̶u̶t̶i̶n̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶s̶h̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶n̶e̶w̶ ̶P̶a̶t̶a̶g̶o̶n̶i̶a̶ ̶v̶e̶s̶t̶s give an update on the fund’s strategy or additions to the team, so here goes:
(1) We’ve raised €99,999,999.
Someone asked if there were any regulatory reasons for staying below €100 million. Nope. We just like the number 9.
A huge thanks to all of our LPs for their continued trust! 🙏🏼
(2) This is our fifth fund, P9 V.
Our model is pretty much a copy & paste (as one of our LPs likes to put it) of P9 IV, which was pretty much a copy & paste of P9 III. That means we will:
- Double-down on B2B SaaS and B2B marketplace startups (while occasionally exploring other areas).
- Stay geo-agnostic (with Europe as our home market, 25–30% US and Canada, and a small percentage in the ROTW).
- Continue to invest at seed (what we consider v0.9 or the “Point Nine stage”). We’ll occasionally do pre-seed, “Seed II,” or “early Series A” investments.
- Continue to invest between €0.5 and €2.5 million per company initially and commit to participating in the Series A of all companies.
(3) A bit more about our strategy.
- We’ve been focused on B2B SaaS and marketplaces at the seed stage for about 12 years, first as individual angel investors, then with Point Nine. During this time we’ve invested in about 100 seed-stage B2B SaaS and marketplace startups. We believe there’s huge value in focus, so don’t expect a Series A or growth fund from us any time soon.
- When it comes to location, our approach is the exact opposite of our industry and stage focus. We’ve always firmly believed that amazing companies can be started anywhere, and we’ve made investments over Zoom (or Skype, back in the days) since day one. We’ve invested in 28 different countries so far and are excited to add further pins onto our map (having recently added Jerewan, Brussels, and Måløy).
- Most founders that we’ve backed in the last 12 years w̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶l̶i̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ ̶r̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶a̶r̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶d̶g̶e̶s̶ (just like us when we started P9) didn’t have a major prior success under their belts when we met them. We‘ll continue to invest in experienced entrepreneurs as well as first-time founders from all walks of life. Unique insights, integrity, and ambition are what matter most to us.
(4) A few words about what founders can expect from us.
As a seed investor in companies like Algolia, Brainly, Chainalysis, Clio, Contentful, Delivery Hero, DocPlanner, Front, Loom, Mambu, Momox, Revolut, Sqreen, Typeform, Westwing, and Zendesk we arguably have one of the highest “seed-to-winner” rates in Europe. 💪🏽
Founders benefit from our track record by:
- Having a partner on their side who has worked together closely with some of the most successful startups in Europe in their earliest days.
- Joining the #P9family, an elite community of about 200 P9 founders and alumni that meet at various online and offline events, share a talent pool, and support each other in a multitude of ways.
- Getting access to the insights, the playbooks, and the network that helped 50+ seed startups from the #P9family raise excellent Series As and later-stage rounds.
When you start a new company, it can feel like the odds are stacked against you (and statistically they are). We obsess about turning them in your favor, and that shows in our numbers. About 55% of the companies that we back at the seed stage raise a $5M+ Series A from an international Tier 1 VC (vs. 40% for the best quartile of seed VCs and 19% for all European seed VCs, according to a Dealroom study).
(5) We’re now four equal partners.
Traditionally, VC firms used to have several layers of partners (with a variety of titles like “Investment Partner,” “Partner,” “General Partner,” “Managing General Partner,” etc.). Some of the most successful VCs like A16Z are built this way. Other firms, most famously Benchmark, are structured more like a jazz band than a traditional pyramid organization.
In Bill Gurley’s words:
“One of Benchmark’s core principles is the power of a fully equal partnership. Every one of our general partners, regardless of track record or seniority, has equal ownership in the firm and an equal stake in its future. We believe that this promotes teamwork, minimizes politics, and most importantly allows us to deliver the power of the entire team to the entrepreneurs we serve. It also allows us to recruit the best possible partner candidate.”
We have always had a lot of admiration for this model. While less scalable, it allows the partners to spend most of their time working with portfolio companies and looking for new investments, which is what we love the most about our jobs. We can’t improve on how Bill expresses it, so let us quote him again:
“We believe that successful early-stage venture investing is just that: a craft. It is a service-oriented business, not an industrial process that can be scaled. It requires investors to work diligently on the boards of startups, providing advice and counsel and supporting the visions and dreams of entrepreneurs.”
About ten years after starting Point Nine, we are thrilled to announce that two up-and-coming stars in the tech industry have joined us as equal partners: Louis Coppey and Ricardo Sequerra Amram.
Louis has been working with us as an Associate for about four years, so if you’re reading this, you most likely know him already. Here’s some more background on his journey at P9 so far and why we’re so excited to add him to our partnership.
Around the same time when Louis joined us, a young Portuguese tech investor, Ricardo Sequerra Amram, landed in the Berlin scene. As an Associate at Cherry Ventures, Ricardo got our attention by hustling his way into the Series A of our portfolio company Rekki, but it would take a few years (and Ricardo and Louis becoming flatmates) until it dawned on us that we should try to recruit him. Check out this post to read more about that story and about what Ricardo brings to P9.
Both Louis and Ricardo have demonstrated an extraordinary ability to spot new companies, develop strong bonds with entrepreneurs, contribute to the tech community, and help early-stage startups beat the odds. At ages 29 and 30, they are significantly earlier in their careers than the two of us. That’s a feature of our equal partnership, not a bug. Our goal was to find the smartest investors with the steepest trajectories, not the ones with the longest track record.
Louis and Ricardo embody the values that we aspire Point Nine to stand for. Both of them have an insatiable intellectual curiosity, a boundless love for technology and entrepreneurship, and, maybe most importantly, are kind, humble human beings who don’t take themselves too seriously.
We couldn’t be more excited to welcome them to our partnership. We’re looking forward to building Point Nine together with you, Ola, Tilman, and the rest of the P9 team in the years and decades to come.
Christoph and Pawel