Venture Capital/Analysis/

All the new first-time European VC funds of 2023

2023 might not be as lucrative for VC funds as last year — but some new first-time funds are still raising the cash

By Amy Lewin and Sadia Nowshin

Planet A's team

2022 saw European VC funds raise a record-breaking $28.9bn, in spite of the downturn. More than 50 new VC funds also emerged on the continent. 

This year, however, we reckon we’ll see far fewer first-time funds close.

Sifted’s spoken to wannabe VCs out there raising their first funds — and they tell us it’s not pretty. Most have received hundreds of rejections. Some have had some fairly bizarre — and sometimes entirely inappropriate — requests from LPs. Others have had LPs pull out of big commitments before they’ve had time to close the fund. 

Lots of that isn’t really new. Upcoming managers don’t have the track record of VCs on their fourth or fifth fund. Many LPs don’t want to risk betting on them. 

But it doesn’t help that the VC industry went on a big old spending spree in 2020 and 2021 — and raised bigger and bigger funds. That’s drained LPs’ bank accounts, making it even harder than usual for the new fund managers to get off the ground. 

Some lucky souls have managed to close their funds, however. Here’s a running list of the new first-time funds closing in 2023, which we’ll be keeping updated through 2023.

New funds launched in 2023


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, and is joined by the founders of Spendesk, Zendesk and Pleo, amongst others.

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.

This article was last updated on March 24 2023. 

Amy Lewin is Sifted’s editor and cohost of Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast, and writes Up Round, a weekly newsletter on VC. She tweets from @amyrlewin

Sadia Nowshin is editorial assistant at Sifted. She tweets from @sadianowshin_