A formidable group of entrepreneurs, including the founders of Wise, Skype, and Songkick, have successfully raised €400 million ($436.4 million) for Plural Fund II, marking their second fund aimed at supporting technology startups in Europe. The fund, arriving just 18 months after the firm’s last raise of €250 million, positions itself as a founder-led initiative seeking to compete with established funds such as Atomico, Balderton Capital, and Creandum.

Founders Behind Plural Fund II:

Plural Fund II is spearheaded by a team of seasoned entrepreneurs, including Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of fintech giant Wise; Ian Hogarth, co-founder of concert discovery service Songkick; Sten Tamkivi, co-founder of communications platform Skype; and Khaled Helioui, former CEO of Bigpoint Games. This collective brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience, having successfully navigated the challenges of building and scaling innovative ventures.

Founder-Led Focus:

What sets Plural Fund II apart is its founder-led focus, aiming to be a preferred partner for startups in Europe. Taavet Hinrikus highlighted the unique perspective the founders bring, citing that only 8% of venture capitalists (VCs) in Europe have a background as founders, a stark contrast to the United States, where the figure is 60%. The Plural team, having the “scar tissue” of proven entrepreneurs, believes this positions them as more empathetic and understanding partners for the startups they support.

Hinrikus emphasized the importance of having investors with practical startup experience rather than just financial expertise. He stated, “If we look at a lot of VC funds, you have lots of people who have done great work with spreadsheets, not with startup life. In our case, it is seen as a core criteria for choosing our partners that they’re totally unemployable.”

Rapid Fundraising Success:

Plural Fund II managed to exceed its fundraising target, securing substantial backing from a diverse group of limited partners (LPs). These LPs include British and American university endowments, U.S. foundations, insurers, and strategic family offices in Europe and the United States. Despite facing a challenging fundraising environment, the firm saw “significant appetite” from LPs, underscoring the global recognition of the opportunity within the European tech ecosystem.

Carina Namih, a partner at Plural, highlighted the fund’s swift fundraising success as a testament to sophisticated investors recognizing the immense potential in Europe. She stated, “I think it’s a real testament against the sort of macro backdrop that we’ve raised a fund of this size and scale so quickly.”

Plural Fund II’s substantial €400 million raise marks a significant milestone in the European tech investment landscape. With a focus on founder-led support for startups, the fund aims to contribute to the growth and success of innovative ventures across the continent. As the team leverages its collective entrepreneurial experience, Plural Fund II is well-positioned to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of technology startups in Europe.

By Admin

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