France’s Founders Future, a backer of Databricks and Pinterest, has raised €75m of a second fund. It’s targeting a total of €150m and aiming for a final close by the end of 2024.
The fund is backed by entrepreneurs and family offices. As a self-described “superangel”, Founders Future relies on investments from individuals rather than institutional investors or government money.
Up to 60% of the money will be put towards new investments in climate and AI startups at pre-seed to Series A. Tickets will range from €250k-3m and up to 60 investments are expected over the fund’s 10-year lifecycle.
The remaining 40% will be put towards backing existing portfolio companies at Series B to pre-IPO. These tickets will range from €1m-7.5m and the investor anticipates a total of 15-20 investments over the next 10 years.
“These will be companies that have found their product-market fit, are growing fast and are above a pre-Series B,” says Founders Future CEO Marc Menasé. “We have dozens of candidates who match this investment strategy from our portfolio of around 100 companies.”
A focus on impact startups
Founders Future launched its first fund in 2018 with €50m to back early-stage startups working on technologies related to the future of food, work, money and health. It also raised a separate €32m seed fund dedicated to impact startups in 2021.
With the new fund, Founders Future wants to focus on climate and AI. “There are fundamental changes in our society where technology has a role to play and we want to be the partner of these entrepreneurs,” says Menasé. “This is the case in fields like AI, but also in energy transition and in climate.”
The new fund marks a pivot towards B2B businesses in contrast to Founders Future’s current portfolio, which features many consumer-focused companies. Menasé says that the fund will stop backing direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands. These were a main staple of Founders Future’s first portfolio, with businesses like Austrian flavoured water startup Waterdrop and French bedsheet manufacturer Bonsoirs. This follows a trend of many other consumer-focused investors in Europe broadening their horizons.
“Many things have already been done now in D2C,” says Menasé.
Ten undisclosed deals have been done out of the new fund, of which about 70% are B2B businesses, according to the CEO.
A pan-European fund
The investor is looking for opportunities across Europe and is particularly interested in targeting countries in the south of the continent and the Nordics.
Southern Europe, says Menasé, is an opportunity given the lack of maturity of the ecosystem. “There is a place to take there, which is similar to what was happening in France a few years ago,” says Menasé.
In the Nordics, Founders Future is hoping to accompany startups that it describes as “natively international” as they expand to new markets.