Blossom Capital, co-founded by ex-Index Ventures and LocalGlobe investor Ophelia Brown – one of Europe’s best-known female VCs — announces today that it has raised $85 million to unite the best of West Coast investing practice and operating know-how with the unrivalled opportunity in European tech startups.
Fastest-ever first time fundraising from a female VC in Europe
The female-led firm Blossom’s LPs include leading institutional investors, as well as high-profile tech entrepreneurs such as Robinhood co-founder Vladimir Tenev and Mikkel Svane, founder of Zendesk. The firm claims to be the first ever women-led VC firm to carry out the fastest fundraising in Europe.
London headquartered VC firm Blossom’s partners are a mix of investors and operators who have between them helped build some of the biggest names in technology including Facebook, Klarna and Deliveroo.
“Traditionally European Venture has been dominated by non-technical investors,” says Blossom partner Imran Ghory. “We’ve found having the majority of the investment team with engineering, product and data backgrounds at Blossom makes a huge difference to founders who know we speak their language.”
Facebook, Klarna and Deliveroo
The firm has two partners with engineering backgrounds — Imran Ghory, who previously led data-driven deal sourcing at Index and was head of data insights at MarketInvoice, and Mike Hudack, until recently CTO at Deliveroo, and previously director of product at Facebook working in both Menlo Park and London. Meanwhile, partner Louise Samet, the latest addition to the team and an active angel investor, joined Blossom after six years at Klarna, where she was responsible for their digital products and led their technical sales team. Advisors to the firm include a network of 30 founders and executives from some of the world’s leading technology brands.
“Blossom’s new fund provides early-stage founders in Europe with the opportunity to partner with a local investor that can guide them through the operational support needed to turn their visions into reality,” says Sequoia Partner Alfred Lin. “The Blossom team is filling a longstanding gap in the European market and has the expertise to help the boldest outlier companies scale internationally. With our own recent investments in European-based companies such as Tourlane and Graphcore, we’re increasingly excited by the ambition and talent in Europe. We look forward to potentially co-investing with Blossom in the future, as we continue to support founders from idea to IPO and beyond.”
To lead Series A rounds across Europe
Further, the firm will be investing in European Series A stage consumer and enterprise startups across most sectors. Investments will typically be in the $5 million to $10 million range. To date Blossom has backed Duffel, Fat Llama, Frontify and Sqreen, co-investing with tier one Silicon Valley and European funds including Y Combinator, Greylock and Index.
Not only ‘female-focused’
While Blossom is not a ‘female-focused fund’, the team want to ensure that the firm is approachable to anyone regardless of background or gender. Blossom will be holding dedicated office hours for female founders as it seeks to level the playing field so that women receive equality of airtime. Ophelia Brown has already established the networking and mentoring group Ambitious Ladies in Tech (ALT) in a concerted effort to help redress gender imbalance across the industry.
“We founded Blossom to offer Europe’s leading entrepreneurs a new top-tier VC fund that understands exactly what it takes to scale an early stage company into a global category leader,” says Ophelia Brown. “The European ecosystem has changed dramatically over the last decade; we believe that mission-driven entrepreneurs today want investors who match their ambitions and can help them reach goals far beyond what they thought possible. Too often founders have felt they need to go to the West Coast to raise their Series A — with our unique Silicon Valley ties and deep networks, we’ve set up Blossom to help change that.”
Mike Hudack adds, “Having moved to London from Silicon Valley, I’m determined to help build an ecosystem here that I am proud to work in. We see huge similarities between the populations, internet usage and mobile penetration in the US and Europe, yet the proportion of GDP that is invested by VCs on this side of the Atlantic is much lower than it is in the US. Meanwhile, US funds are looking to Europe for diversification, but they largely lack the European knowledge, networks and experience they need to thrive here. Our mission at Blossom is to blend the best of both worlds and cultures, and leverage them effectively to help European companies become global players.”
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