Hoxton Ventures, one of Europe’s top early-stage VC firms, is undergoing a partnership shakeup.
As reported by CNBC, the firm is set to lose one of its founding partners, Rob Kniaz.
But it’s also, Sifted has learnt, bringing aboard a new partner, Payton Dobbs, in April — and is actively hiring for another new partner too.
Since Kniaz and cofounder Hussein Kanji launched Hoxton in 2013, it's established itself as one of Europe’s leading early-stage investors. It's invested in three companies at seed stage that have since IPO'd — Deliveroo, Darktrace and Babylon, though Babylon and Deliveroo have seen their stock prices dive in the past year. Hoxton’s seed-stage investment in Deliveroo — which Kanji led — saw just above a 100x return. Its seed investment into Darktrace saw around a 40x return.
Its third fund, of $215m, was launched last year. Around a quarter of the fund has been deployed.
Who’s out, who’s in
Kniaz plans to start a new firm focused on deeptech and techbio. For the foreseeable future though, he'll maintain his 16 (!) board seats and board observer roles — which include Preply, Spacelift, FabricNano and Kheiron Medical.
He tells Sifted he's going to remain "fully involved with Hoxton and all his existing commitments through it". That means he'll lead deals from the third fund — and will continue to work from Hoxton’s London office. He’ll also use Hoxton’s back office services for his new fund, which he'll likely raise when Hoxton comes to raise its next fund.
In April, Dobbs — currently a UK general manager at Google, and an adviser to Hoxton since August last year — will join the firm as a new partner, along with Kanji and Charles Seely, who joined the firm as a partner in 2021.
He’ll be more of an operational partner than a dealmaker, using his technical expertise to support existing portfolio companies, Sifted understands — although he could also lead deals.
The additional partner that Hoxton is currently hiring for will focus on finding deals — and will, hopefully, be a woman.