London-based Playfair Capital is a seed investor that focuses on UK startups. Since its inception in 2013, Playfair has invested in over 50 companies including Mapillary, CryptoFacilities, Thought Machine, Ravelin and Stripe. It has also invested in Trouva, a marketplace for independent boutiques and Appear Here, a real estate marketplace.
Raises €28 million in second round
The venture capital firm has raised €28 million in the second funding round. With this funding, it is now hunting for budding startups that have the potential to become leading tech companies in the world.
Playfair is looking out for early-stage companies across various sectors but its prime focus is on deep tech (including machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence), marketplaces and B2B SaaS.
In 2019, Playfair aims to come up with several initiatives including inviting angles who are ready to work closely with the fund and to share space in the Farringdon headquarters.
Nurtures young startups
The team at the venture capital firm engages with founders of startups in the nascent stages and invests small pre-seed funds. Playfair distinguishes itself from other UK seed funds as all its capital is supplied by its chairman Federico Pirzio-Biroli. After the successful initial period and leading investments, he has moved to Kenya and has the team had led the second funding round. The management is now handled by Chris Smith, an active angel investor for over a decade. He has joined Playfair as a partner.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Playfair Capital as we announce Fund II. Playfair Capital has developed a reputation for working closely with founders and the angel community to back successful entrepreneurs,” said Smith. “The ethos of the fund is very much aligned with how I approached my angel investing. Working closely with Joe and Henrik, we have a fantastic opportunity and I can’t wait to get started on combining the best aspects of angel investing with Playfair’s unique form of patient capital.”
“I’m delighted to be announcing Chris’s hire and the launch of Playfair’s Fund II,” added Pirzio-Biroli, founder of Playfair Capital. “Our new investment team has great hands-on experience with startups and a track record of backing founders early and enthusiastically. The UK has proved a rich hunting ground for Playfair Capital, providing 80% of our current portfolio. With the new fund we will seek out startups that use deep tech and data to create a defensible proposition that has longevity. We are hugely excited about opportunities in the deep tech, SaaS and marketplace segments where we have already demonstrated success.”
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