December 19, 2023

All the new first-time European VC funds of 2023

2023 may not have been as lucrative for VC funds as 2022 — but some new first-time funds still raised the cash

Sadia Nowshin and Amy Lewin

14 min read

Planet A's team

European VC funds raised a record-breaking $28.9bn in 2022, according to Dealroom, in spite of the downturn — and more than 50 new VC funds also emerged on the continent.

At the start of 2023, Sifted predicted that a trickier environment would see significantly fewer first-time funds close this year. 

Wannabe VCs told us that rejections were rife and LPs were reluctant to commit to first-time fund managers.


And it seems that our prediction was pretty spot on: Europe’s VC funds raised just $7.4bn in the first half of 2023, and 20% of LPs surveyed in Atomico’s 2023 State of European Tech report said their appetite to invest in European VC has decreased — while 71% of VCs surveyed said they noticed LPs were less enthusiastic about investing this year. 

The number of first-time European VC funds is also down — Sifted tracked just 40 funds announcing a first or second close in 2023, compared to over 60 in 2022.

New funds launched in 2023


HQ: Brussels
Fund size: €35m target, closed €15m so far
Focus: B2B SaaS  

Welovefounders closed a third of its target fund at the end of 2023. It writes cheques of €500k to €1m to seed-stage startups, primarily working in French-speaking areas of Europe. Its four partners are all former founders.

Zero Carbon Capital

HQ: Havant, UK
Fund size: £30m, closed £13m so far
Focus: Climate tech
Stage: Early-stage 

UK-based Zero Carbon Capital is focused on early-stage startups working to tackle the climate crisis — backers include fund-of-funds Isomer, Extantia and family offices. It writes cheques ranging from £100k to £1m in return for a 5-10% stake in the company and a board seat, and it invests across Israel and Europe with a focus on the UK. 

Deep Ocean Ventures

HQ: Rome
Fund size: €70m, first close of €40.8m
Focus: Deeptech
Stage: Early-stage 

Deep Ocean Ventures is an Italian fund focused on early-stage startups and spinouts in deeptech. It announced its first close in June. It also plans to launch a startup factory of venture builders, accelerators, incubators and venture studios. 

Giano Capital

HQ: Geneva
Fund size: €50m, first close of around €20m and a hard cap of €100m
Focus: Secondaries
Stage: Late-stage private companies 

Giano Capital, led by entrepreneur and angel investor Alberto Chalon and former Axel Springer executive Andreas Wiele, buys shares from existing investors in both B2B and B2C late-stage private companies mainly across Europe. It plans to deploy its capital within 18-24 months, and will focus on companies that are roughly two to four years from an exit. 

Partech Impact

HQ: Paris
Fund size: 
Closed €150m, target €300m
Focus: B2B climate tech and social impact tech
Stage: Growth

Spotting a gap in the market for growth-stage impact funding, French VC Partech launched a new fund, with a new team, to back impact startups with proven business models. The criteria? Companies must have reached at least €10m in revenues and have a "strong impact" on industry, agrifood, environment and/or inclusion. LPs include Bpifrance, the EIF, Legrand and Société Genérale.

Caesar Ventures

HQ: Munich
Fund size: Target of €80m, closed €30m in May 2023
Focus: Deeptech, climate tech, fintech, healthtech
Stage: Early-stage 


Germany-based Caesar Ventures invests tickets of between €200k-800k into early-stage startups working on impact solutions, and has announced three investments so far.

Greencode Ventures

HQ: Helsinki
Fund size: €60-100m, first close of €40m
Focus: Climate tech
Stage: Seed to Series A 

Greencode Ventures focuses on climate tech startups in Europe and Israel. Its backers include Business Finland Venture Capital and life insurance companies Nordea Life Assurance Finland and OP Life Assurance Company. The fund announced its first close in August. 

Failup Ventures

HQ: Helsinki
Fund size: €50m, first close of €30m
Focus: Positive impact startups
Stage: Pre-seed

Founded by three former Finnish entrepreneurs, Failup Ventures backs early-stage startups with initial cheques between €200k and €1m. The fund is focused on startups trying to make a positive change in areas such as climate tech and future of work. Though based in the Nordics, it also has an eye on the US and will be investing in both regions. 

G-FUND Management

HQ: Munich
Fund size: €10m
Focus: Consumer goods
Stage: Pre-seed to Series A

G-FUND focuses on startups based across Europe and Israel that are working on consumer-facing tech like plant-based alternatives, health and wellness products, clean-label cosmetics, sustainable fashion and edtech. Tickets range from €100k to €500k per round. The fund was closed in November. 

Blockchain Founders Capital

HQ: Neustadt, Germany
Fund size: €15m target (first close of €3m)
Focus: Web3
Stage: Early-stage 

The Blockchain Founders Capital fund is planning to invest in over 30 Web3 startups using blockchain technology for things other than just producing Bitcoin. It told Sifted that it has closed €3m so far, and plans to invest in 35-40 companies with an average ticket size of €300k.

Underline Ventures

HQ: Bucharest
Fund size: $20m
Focus: Startups from eastern European founders
Stage: Early-stage 

One of several solo GP funds closed this year, Underline Ventures is run by Bogdan Iordache, the founder of tech conference How To Web. His LPs include founders and early-stage operators, family offices and fund of funds. 


HQ: Helsinki
Fund size: €70m
Focus: Industrial tech startups in northern Europe
Stage: Early-stage 

Kvanted wants to invest in the next (green) industrial revolution. It plans to back around 20 companies in both hardware and software, developing solutions for industrial automation, sustainability and supply chain resilience. It will make initial investments ranging from €500k to €3m — and will have a longer-than-usual investment term to give startups time to develop. 


HQ: Barcelona and Paris
Fund size: €30m
Focus: Southern Europe
Stage: Pre-seed 

Started by the founders of Glovo, Oscar Pierre and Sacha Michaud, along with Adam Lasri, former principal at VC firm Atomico, Yellow is a rare VC focused on southern Europe. It’ll invest in B2C and B2B startups, writing €200k to €500k cheques — and doesn’t want to lead rounds. 

2100 Ventures

The three Andreas of 2100 Ventures
The three Andreas of 2100 Ventures

HQ: London
Fund size: €30m
Focus: Italian founders
Stage: Pre-seed to Series A 

New fund 2100 Ventures is the brainchild of the heir of the billionaire Italian family behind fashion brand United Colours of Benetton, Alessandro Benetton — who is also the main LP behind the fund. 

It will invest in pre-seed to Series A startups across Europe, and more than 50% of the €250k-750k tickets it invests will go to companies with Italian founders.

Vanagon Ventures

HQ: Munich
Fund size: €30m target (20% raised so far)
Focus: B2B green transition
Stage: Early-stage 

Vanagon Ventures invests up to €500k in pre-seed and seed stage startups working in digital climate tech, climate fintech and SaaS verticals like carbon markets, software that helps companies reuse materials and digital financial infrastructure. In December 2023, it saw a first close of “around 20%” of its €30m target and hopes to close the full amount by November 2024. 

Heartcore Web3 fund

HQ: Copenhagen
Fund size: €20m target (€15m closed)
Focus: Web3 startups
Stage: Early-stage 

Heartcore isn’t a first-time fund manager — but its new Web3 fund is a first of a kind. In December, the Danish VC announced a new fund to invest in protocols and tokens — despite that being somewhat out of fashion in 2023. The fund is deliberately small and unlike normal VC funds that take ownership stakes in the startups they back, Heartcore will have tokens earmarked for the fund when (if ever) they get released.

New Renaissance Ventures

HQ: Vienna
Fund size: €20m target (€6m closed)
Focus: Creative startups
Stage: Pre-seed and seed 

The new fund, which announced a first close in November, plans to invest in 40 early-stage startups in visual and performing arts, new media and ‘cultural heritage’ with a strong tech angle. Initial cheque sizes will be between €100-500k. 

NP-Hard Ventures

HQ: Netherlands
Fund size: €12m
Focus: B2B SaaS
Stage: Pre-seed 

A rare VC with a female GP, NP-Hard Ventures was started by angel investor and operator Anke Huiskes and closed its debut fund in November. It will invest cheques of around €250k into about 35 pre-seed startups, mostly in Europe.

Robin Capital

HQ: Berlin
Fund size: €10-20m target (€3m closed)
Focus: B2B SaaS startups across Europe, Israel and the US
Stage: Pre-seed and seed 

Former founder and partner at growth fund Revaia Capital Robin Haak announced he’d raised €3m of a new solo GP fund in June. The plan is to back around 35 companies, depending on the size of the fund at final close, with cheques of €100k-600k. 

Nato Innovation Fund

HQ: Netherlands
Fund size: €1bn
Focus: Deeptech and defence tech
Stage: Early-stage 

Launched in 2022, and finally closed in August this year, the Nato Innovation Fund is a big old pot of money to invest in early-stage European defence tech. It’s backed by 22 of the military alliance’s 30 members. Lakestar founder and chair Klaus Hommels heads up the organisation’s board of directors. 

Blume Equity

HQ: London
Fund size: Targeting €200m
Focus: European climate tech
Stage: Growth 

A rare VC with three female partners, Blume Equity invests in climate tech startups across Europe. Its LPs include the European Investment Fund (EIF), Visa Foundation, Impact Engine and the Swedish National Pension Plan, AP4. It hasn’t disclosed how much the fund has closed so far — but did announce that the EIF had pitched in €40m in September 2023. It’ll invest at Series B and C stages, with cheques between €10m-25m and larger tickets for later-stage growth deals, plus capital set aside for follow-on investments. 

Common Magic

Sarah Drinkwater
Sarah Drinkwater

HQ: London
Fund size: £10m target (one third closed so far)
Focus: Startups with community at their core
Stage: Pre-seed and seed 

Angel investor and ex-Googler Sarah Drinkwater’s solo GP fund announced a first close in June. It plans to back around 30 companies with cheques of £100k-£150k on average.

Northern Gritstone

HQ: Manchester
Fund size: £312m
Focus: Tech spinouts in Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield
Stage: Early-stage

Northern Gritstone focuses its investments on university spinouts in the North of England, and saw more than £150m of its funding come from local authority pension funds. 

Par Equity

HQ: Edinburgh
Fund size: £100m target (£67m closed)
Focus: Startups in the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Stage: Series A 

Scottish VC Par Equity wants to give love to startups in the north of the UK, which it believes are currently neglected by other VCs. It aims to invest in around 12-15 deals from the new fund.

Ring Capital

HQ: Paris
Fund size: €66m
Focus: Impact startups
Stage: Venture stage

Ring Capital announced the final close of its first impact fund in June. It’ll invest between €500k and €5m in startups across the world that are addressing major environmental or social issues. In November, it announced that its second fund had reached a first close of €125m, with a €250m target. 

QDNL Participations

HQ: Amsterdam
Fund size: €15m
Focus: Quantum spinouts
Stage: Pre-seed

One of the first dedicated quantum funds in Europe, QDNL Participations has a sole LP, the government-backed foundation Quantum Delta NL. It’ll invest €300k-700k in 5-10 Dutch startups at pre-seed, and will also participate in follow-on rounds — startups will be chosen primarily from the following universities:

  • TU Delft
  • Eindhoven University of Technology 
  • Leiden University 
  • The University of Twente
  • The University of Amsterdam

Campus Fund

HQ: Paris
Fund size: €1.5m
Focus: Generalist, student founders
Stage: Early-stage

Campus Fund focuses on startups founded by students or young graduates across France, and saw over 50 executives, family offices, and funds chip in to its first raise. It plans to invest in 20 startups with tickets of up to €60k and follow on investments of up to €300k. 

Ugly Duckling Ventures

HQ: Denmark
Fund size: Just over DKK 150m (€20.1m)
Focus: Nordic founders
Stage: Pre-seed and seed

Ugly Duckling Ventures’ first fund focuses on early-stage Nordic founders, and has invested in nine startups so far. 

Polytechnique Ventures

HQ: France
Fund size: €36m
Focus: Alumni of France’s École Polytechnique
Stage: Pre-seed and seed

Launched by 160 alumni from France’s École Polytechnique, who chipped in between €100k and €3m each, Polytechnique Ventures will invest in around 15-20 startups founded by other alumni of the university. Cheque sizes will range between €250k-1m. 

Orbit Capital

HQ: Czech Republic
Fund size: Targeting €100m, closed €42m
Focus: CEE-based companies
Stage: Scaleups

Aiming to raise one of central eastern Europe’s largest VC funds ever, Orbit Capital is one of few local investors focusing on the region’s scaleups. It plans to invest in 12-14 companies, with initial tickets coming in at between €6m-15m. 

Puzzle Ventures

Gloria Baeuerlein, solo GP
Gloria Bäuerlein, solo GP

HQ: Berlin
Fund size: €21.5m
Focus: Global B2B and SaaS
Stage: Pre-seed and seed

Launched by Gloria Bäuerlein, Puzzle Ventures is one of the first funds in Europe to be led by a female solo GP. She says the fund could lead and price rounds at pre-seed stage if it’s just angel investors pitching in; at seed stage, it’ll invest between €200k-500k if the commitment is early, or between €100k-250k if a fund commits first and brings Puzzle in. 


HQ: Czechia
Fund size: Targeting €15m, closed €2m
Focus: CEE based, impact-oriented startups
Stage: Pre-seed
PurposeTech is a pre-seed fund that supports impact startups in the CEE, and will pitch in to a company's first round of funding. It was cofounded by serial entrepreneurs Zdenek Fred Fous and David Kovalsky in partnership with the Impact Hub, a global network for impact-driven entrepreneurs.

Neo Founders

HQ: France
Fund size: €2m
Focus: "Impactful startups"
Stage: Pre-seed and seed

Neo Founders was started by 20 investors and founders who graduated from the same business school. So far, they've pitched in around €2m to the fund, and are looking to raise €15m-20m by the end of the year. The fund will write cheques of up to €500k in 10-15 pre-seed and seed stage startups. 

Node Ventures

HQ: Stockholm
Fund size: Targeting SEK 800m (€70m)
Focus: Sector-agnostic Nordic startups
Stage: Early-stage

Node Ventures, which has raised more than two-thirds of its target fund, will be writing cheques of SEK 5m (€450k)-SEK 25m (€2.2m) into companies based in the Nordics. 


HQ: London
Fund size: £15m first close, targeting £35m
Focus: CO2 removal solutions
Stage: Early-stage

A VC firm dedicated to climate tech, Counteract invests in startups working on carbon removal that can prove they have the potential to remove 500m tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050. 

No Label Ventures

HQ: London
Fund size: $15m first close, closed half
Focus: European startups with at least one immigrant founder
Stage: Pre-seed and seed

Ramzi Rafih, a former director at investment firm KKR, has launched solo GP fund No Label Ventures, which will write cheques of $150k-250k for startups with at least one immigrant founder. 


HQ: London
Fund size: $10.6m
Focus: B2B software startups
Stage: Pre-seed and seed

Launched by female solo GP Annelie Ajami, Anamcara will write cheques of $200k in around 25-30 startups across Europe. The fund has already invested in 11 companies, and created an advisory network of operators to advise the startups it invests in. 


The cofounders of Emblem
Cofounders of Emblem

HQ: France
Fund size: A first close of €50m, targeting €75m
Focus: Entrepreneurs in France, Denmark and Sweden
Stage: Pre-seed and seed

Launched by founder of Clustree, Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan, and former banker Guillaume Durao, Emblem will be focusing on 25 to 30 pre-seed and seed startups in France, Sweden and Denmark across the industries of AI, SaaS, fintech, future of work and digital health. Denmark's sovereign fund, Vaekstfonden, is an LP in the fund, as are the founders of Spendesk, Zendesk and Pleo.

Planet A

HQ: Germany
Fund size: $160m
Focus: Climate tech
Stage: Pre-seed and seed

Berlin’s Planet A closed its first fund of $160m in February to back early-stage climate tech startups in Europe and Israel. It’ll write cheques of between €500k to €3m, and is one of the first European VCs to have an in-house science team to conduct rigorous due diligence on a startup’s climate impact pre-investment. It’s backed by LPs including BMW, the Danish pension fund and the founders of HelloFresh and Zalando.

Silicon Roundabout Ventures

Fund size: Targeting £10m
Focus: Deeptech
Stage: Pre-seed and seed 

This is a solo GP fund started by one of the founders of UK tech meetup Silicon Roundabout. It will invest between £100k-300k in about 25 deeptech companies. VC firm Molten Ventures backed the fund, alongside a number of angel investors.


HQ: France
Fund size: Targeting €50m, closed €15m
Focus: French startups
Stage: Pre-seed and seed 

This is a fun one: Ovni is a French VC looking to invest in French startups whose teams speak to each other in English. Why? Because it wants to back businesses with an international mindset — and it thinks speaking English and hiring non-French people is a good indicator of that. It’ll invest between €250k and €2m in 30  French startups, and is particularly keen on deeptech.

👉 Read: What do LPs want to see from first-time VC fund pitch decks?

This article was last updated on January 2 2024.

Update, May 30 2023: Gloria Bäuerlein's fund has changed its name from Beyond Capital to Puzzle Ventures.

Update, January 9 2024: Welovefounders added to the list.

Sadia Nowshin

Sadia Nowshin is a reporter at Sifted covering foodtech, biotech and startup life. Follow her on X and LinkedIn

Amy Lewin

Amy Lewin is Sifted’s editor and cohost of Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast , and writes Up Round, a weekly newsletter on VC. Follow her on X and LinkedIn