Investing in the next wave of European innovation, Barcelona-based Aldea Ventures has announced that it has raised the first €60M fund of a targeted €100M, to invest in 700 technology-enabled startups across Europe.
Aldea connects the South European startup and investor ecosystems with the next-generation VC managers in Europe. To capture niche opportunities across sectors, technologies, and hubs, the VC firm takes a hybrid approach. Firstly, as a fund of funds Aldea invests in up to 20 early-stage micro VC funds across Europe; and secondly, as a co-investment platform, the company will back promising startups from Series A upwards.
The fund is expected to reach a final close of €100M later this year.
Aldea Ventures is a Pan-European venture capital platform that backs outstanding European micro VC leaders and claims to invest in the most promising tech companies. Its vision is to invest in technologies and industries, and support growth across Europe, connecting VC talent and startup ecosystems across entrepreneurial hubs.
Carlos Trenchs, Partner of Aldea Ventures, says, “We believe Europe will continue to grow in influence and play an integral part in the next decade of technology. The future tech champions are being developed today. Europe is a global powerhouse in deep technology and we have a rapidly growing number of serial entrepreneurs. Our dual model as a fund of funds and co-investor into scaleups is the first of its kind in Europe. Seen only in Silicon Valley until today, we’re putting this model to work to fuel the next generation of growth across the European ecosystem.”
Aldea Ventures is also partnering with Meridia Capital, a Spanish alternative investment fund manager. Aldea Tech Fund I was launched in partnership with Meridia Capital Partners to invest in the more than 700 most promising technology businesses seeded between 2020 and 2022 in Europe.
The firm’s portfolio startups have a presence in 18 innovation hubs and co-investing into outstanding startups from Series A onwards.
The Spanish VC firm is led by Managing Partners Carlos Trenchs, formerly at Caixa Capital Risc, the largest seed fund in South Europe; Alfonso Bassols, previously at Nauta Capital, investing in early-stage across Europe and US East Coast; Josep Duran, who invested in VC funds across the EU and Israel from the European Investment Fund; and Gonzalo Rodés brings his 30 years of entrepreneurial experience to the team as Chairman.
How does Aldea Ventures select its micro VC managers?
The firm builds its portfolio considering diversification across all factors, including an optimal split across specialist, thematic, and generalist funds, technologies and industries, and geographies.
It considers five key factors including, the firm’s thesis – whether they are specialist, thematic, or generalist; location – whether they invest across Europe or are local players; the experience of the partner – backing those with solid venture experience or previously successful entrepreneurs; the size; and whether the fund is emerging or established.
Josep Duran, Partner of Aldea Ventures, believes, “European technology is growing at an unparalleled pace thanks to immense entrepreneurial talent, world-class research, and vibrant capital markets. Today, venture capital is a maturing asset class in Europe thanks to an increasing number of category-defining companies and successful venture capital firms. Taken together, this has created a new generation of European VC funds that are challenging the status quo. At Aldea, we will partner with the next wave of VC managers that have been trained in some of the best companies and funds globally, and are ready and eager to shape further the future of the European ecosystem.”
Aldea Ventures’s investments
The firm has already made investments into six micro VCs including; Air Street Capital and Moonfire in London; Helloworld in Luxembourg; Inventures in Munich; Mustard Seed Maze in Lisbon; and Nina Capital in Barcelona.
Nathan Benaich, Founding Partner of Air Street Capital, says, “Investing in European AI-first companies is a huge opportunity, with almost one-quarter of top global AI talent earning their university degrees here. Air Street Capital identifies the most promising AI-first companies from their earliest stages in what is a rapidly evolving technical field. Our partnership with Aldea demonstrates a shared conviction that specialist managers with deep sector-specific knowledge will accelerate the success of tomorrow’s category-defining European companies that are AI-first by design.”
For co-investment opportunities, Aldea Ventures recognises the best-performing companies from its micro VC network and personal networks and offers them investment alongside a network and knowledge from across its micro VCs and portfolio companies. The firm has already invested in London-based Job and Talent and most recently, Copenhagen-based Podimo’s Series A with this strategy.
The data game
The diverse portfolio will allow the firm to gain deep knowledge and insights across the European tech landscape.
Speaking about the data, Trenchs, Partner of Aldea Ventures confirmed TechCrunch, “We want to make the VC world more transparent. If you have the 700 companies, in a few years from now, we’ll be able to collect a lot of data about what’s going on at the seed stage in European valuations, geographies, and sectors. Our intention is of course to use it as intelligence.”
He also mentions that the firm intended to share a lot of anonymised data with the wider European ecosystem. According to Wikipedia, data anonymisation is a process of removing personally identifiable information from data sets, so that the people whom the data describe remain anonymous.
Trenchs also adds, “There is a funnel of few thousands of companies that get funded, but only a few make it through the funnel. As investors, we are looking for venture capitalists that can transform their seed portfolio into a portfolio that graduates from Series A to Series B.”