Global Founders Capital, the VC arm of German tech incubator Rocket Internet, is understood to be laying off as much as 80% of support staff given uncertainties over the investing environment amid a slowdown in tech. News of the layoffs is based on information provided to Sifted by a number of investors who have invested in GFC companies.
The company has neither confirmed nor denied that it is making any staff reductions and did not reply to a request for comment. Sifted also reached out individually to numerous partners in the fund with no reply.
The firm, which raised its first fund in 2013, has more than 90 employees, according to LinkedIn. The 24 investment team members listed on the website (which include just two women) are based on numerous continents and invest globally from seed to growth stage.
GFC has been extremely active in the past few years; last year it was involved in 202 deals globally — 54 in Europe — according to Dealroom data. Recent European investments include Fung, Tranch and Climeworks.
If the reports are confirmed, the cuts — which Sifted understands will primarily affect junior and operational team members — will be one of the first public VC casualties of the downturn in tech.
VC firms on both sides of the Atlantic say they’ve slowed their investment pace and are being more conservative after a tumble in global tech stocks this year and amid concerns about lower economic growth. Investors say that more cuts in VC are likely.
The making of Global Founders Capital
GFC has previously backed some of the world’s biggest tech companies, including Meta, Canva and Slack, as well as big European companies like Revolut and HelloFresh. Its parent company, Rocket Internet, played a pioneering (if controversial) role in European tech, helping build successes like Zalando and Jumia — while also being criticised for building 'copycat' businesses.