The co-founder of London listed fintech giant Wise has launched a new €250m venture platform today alongside a host of tech entrepreneurs, as they look to spur growth among early stage tech firms across Europe.
Plural – the brainchild of Taavet Hinrikus and entrepreneurs including Songkick founder Ian Hogarth, angel investor Khaled Heloui and founder Sten Tamkiv – will be launched to give tech firms exposure to seasoned founders-turned-investors.
Plural’s bosses said just 8 per cent of investors are former operators in Europe, in contrast to more than half of tech investors in the US, and the new platform would aim to fill a dearth of experience in the investment community.
“We’re the investors we would have liked to have when we were building our own companies,” Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise, said.
“Founding a company is a craft and the best way to learn that craft is to work alongside those who have done it before.”
The new fund will now seek out early stage firms in exceptional European tech companies and offer the counsel anc cash of investors with the “scar tissue” of founding their own firms.
The four founders said they will have a focus on leading early stage rounds between €1 and €10m, with a ‘hands-on’ approach to investing.
Plural’s launch comes at a time when European VCs are tightening their investments as inflationary pressures and a looming recession make cash harder to come by.
Analysts said the full scale of the economic downturn that has rocked public equity markets was yet to hit the private markets, but would begin to be felt this year.
“We believe the repricing dynamics that are playing out in public markets are also happening in private markets to differing degrees across asset classes and industries, although it may take several quarters for this to show up in the data,” analysts said in a report last month.
“Venture capital is particularly susceptible due to its high degree of exposure to young companies that will require significant growth to reach profitability, as well as the surge in valuations over the past few years.”