Talis Capital, the venture capital investment firm that was an early investor in Darktrace, Pirate Studios, Luminance and iwoca, has raised a record $100m (€88 million) for 2019 as it celebrates a decade of successful investing in technology companies on behalf of its entrepreneurial investor base.
The latest raise catapults Talis Capital’s total transactions over 10 years to more than $600m, as it seeks to invest in the fast-growing tech companies that are disrupting established sectors, including food and farming, consumer and healthcare.
Increasingly entrepreneurs from outside the tech sector want to invest in the companies of the future but need help to access the sector-defining deals that are creating some of the world’s fastest-growing tech companies. Talis, which blends the speed and flexibility of having a private investor base with the experience and networks of a venture capital fund, has seen its total assets under management increase by 220% in five years.
It favours companies that are at an early stage in their growth but have long-term global potential and its track record includes fast-growing tech companies such as Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, and Clausematch. In the past 12 months alone, Talis has invested in Pricefx, Beyond, Edge Intelligence, Insurdata,The Learning People, Import.io, Omni:us, Oh My Green, The Plum Guide, Ynsect, Medbelle, Artemis, Zyper and others.
Matus Maar, Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Talis Capital: “The strength of our approach is based on two things: first we can move quickly to make decisions because our structure allows us to be agile, flexible and competitive in the fundraising process. Secondly, the investors who back us have had significant business success in their own right and they are prepared to leverage their networks to help our portfolio grow. We’ve consciously backed companies with the global potential to transform traditional industries significantly, using a technology-led or technology-enabled approach.”
A different investment model
Founded in 2009, Talis was born out of Bob and Rohini Finch’s family office but quickly extended to include some of London and the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and ultra high net worth individuals, drawn from financial services, telecoms, commodities, industrials, leisure, retail, and real estate. The fund, run alongside the Finches by partners Vasile Foca and Matus Maar, raises money every year from its investor base and is achieving a run rate of 42% annual IRR and average 5x money multiple, by investing in technology-led and technology-enabled companies that are transforming established sectors.
Talis’s team has skills and experience in building companies from concept stage right through to larger businesses. By investing across stages, from late seed to Series C, Talis has forged connections right across the tech sector and invests alongside some of the world’s biggest venture capital funds.
Investors participate in an annual vintage fund, but are also invited to double down on companies they particularly like by taking part in special purpose vehicles (SPVs), where Talis has secured a larger than normal allocation.
Vasile Foca, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Talis Capital, said: “The investors we work closely with want to back the next generation of innovators and disruptors. We can show them how to do that, and at an early enough stage when they can really make a difference. One of the reasons why we are successful is because we seek entrepreneurs and ideas that we can be passionate about and can leverage this passion and conviction with our LPs. Talis Capital has its roots in a family office, but has grown to incorporate over 30 individuals and families to offer a gateway to the best of the European venture capital scene.”
Talis into 2020
Talis’s investments in the past year range from Luminance, an AI platform for the legal profession, to Oh My Green, a healthy food caterer to businesses. Other investments include cutting-edge cultivation management for farmers, Artemis, and the world’s first digital hospital, Medbelle.
In the year ahead, the company is looking to continue to invest along key themes, where it has conducted in-depth research and established expertise. These themes include data, insurtech and proptech. New areas of focus include:
‘content to commerce’ – a category that encompasses bringing data-driven content to the consumer through innovative forms of publishing and media;
Digital healthcare – using innovation and technology to evolve the patient journey from diet and wellbeing through diagnosis to treatment and aftercare
Sustainable food and farming – tackling the global sustainability crisis – a category where it has recently participated in a $125m series C investment in insect protein farming company, Ynsect.
AI, deep learning, and automation technologies are increasingly important applications, and many of Talis’s portfolio companies incorporate aspects of this technology (e.g. Pirate Studios and iwoca). However, Talis is also keen on hybrid investments that straddle the analogue and the tech world. In the case of Pirate Studios, the business has physical studios which are booked and managed online. Musicians and artists can use Pirate Studios for rehearsals or recording and as a content platform, from which they can stream their live content and disseminate music, podcasts and performances.
Inspired and encouraged by some of the younger investors in the fund, Talis is also focusing hard on the preoccupations and changing habits of Gen Z, which it recognises as shaping emerging startups in both the consumer sector and other enterprise sectors.
Talis Capital is a venture capital investment firm that takes smart money from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and business people and invests it strategically in early-stage technology companies with global potential. Talis has invested over $600 million worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Threads, Ynsect and Oh My Green. Focused on building long-term partnerships, Talis leverages its network to give some of the world’s most innovative startups opportunity to thrive.
— Press release
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