As we are venturing into the second half of 2020, striving towards gender equality in the VC industry continues. Even though the VC industry remains male-dominated, women are playing an increasingly powerful role on the investment side of deal-making.
Focus on early-stage B2B companies
La Famiglia, founded as a venture capital fund back in 2006 by its founding partner Jeannette zu Fürstenberg alongside partner Judith Dada is one such example. Recently, the Berlin-based VC announced a €50 million fund to uncover the next generation of B2B giants. This brings the total raised by the fund from 2017 to more than €85 million.
“Within B2B-models there is a wealth of untapped potential – there is no reason for why a B2B business in Europe shouldn’t scale as fast as in other markets, with client bases often being international by definition. Yet founders starting in B2B face the challenge of long feedback cycles and opaque industry structures. La Famiglia provides transparency and access as quickly as possible – a partner that can help you cut unnecessary corners” said Jeannette zu Fürstenberg.
The fund targets early-stage B2B firms that enable or disrupt large industries, to drive the integration of technology into every sector of the economy. To be more specific, La Famiglia wants to serve as an access platform and advisor for existing entrepreneurs and business leaders to create mutually beneficial relationships.
As per the company, half of the funds will be used for these initial investments, with a reserve being used as follow-on funding in later rounds.
Backed by high-profile entrepreneurs and decision makers
The German VC is backed by established industry giants such as the Mittal, Pictet, Oetker, Hymer and Swarovski families, the industry leaders Voith and Franke, as well as the owning families behind conglomerates such as Hapag Lloyd, Solvay, Adidas, and Valentino, alongside new economy leaders Niklas Zennström (Skype, Atomico), Zoopla’s Alex Chesterman and Personio’s Hanno Renner.
“I think Jeannette and Judith have established a unique value proposition by combining an exceptional network within the old and new economy, with a deep understanding of new trends and technologies. Besides, working with them has always been a lot of fun due to their amazing personalities” says Hanno Renner, Co-Founder, and CEO of Personio.
Invested in 37 companies
Notably, La Famiglia closed its first €35 million funds in 2017 and has since invested in 37 fast-growth firms across Europe and the US. It includes Berlin’s freight forwarding platform Forto, modular production platform Arculus, contractor payment platform Deel, and data collaboration platform Graphy.
It’s worth mentioning that, 23 of these investments have already raised subsequent capital from investors such as A16Z and Atomico, while four companies have exited.
“With every investment we make, we ask ourselves whether it represents a vitamin or a pain killer for the industry. To evaluate this, we regularly exchange with various industry experts – so it’s not unusual that a budding relationship between the ventures we evaluate and our partners already forms during due diligence,” said Judith Dada.
Looking for startups addressing a significant need
As part of its second fund, La Famiglia is looking to make initial investments of up to €1.5 million in startups that are addressing a significant need in the industry through innovative technology and a scalable business model.
The second fund has already backed a range of promising companies, including Berlin-based Spread.ai, building a product intelligence platform, Munich-based Luminovo, building the operating system for the electronics industry, and London-based ChaosIQ, building a resilience infrastructure platform.
“We are proud to have funded incredibly ambitious founders in Fund I and feel privileged to have been part of their successful journey. We’re excited to build upon this foundation with fund II; capitalising on B2B’s great opportunities, which are often still largely untouched by digital disruption,” said Jeannette zu Fürstenberg.
Main image credits: La Famiglia