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The most active investors at seed stage in Europe in 2022 (so far)

Which VCs have been most active at seed stage in Europe so far in 2022?

By Sophie Zhang

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The Seedrs team

Pre-seed and seed companies in Europe brought in €3.1bn in funding in 2021 — the highest year on record. And despite a dip in January this year, total funding picked up again to Q4 2021 levels in February, March and April.

More recently though the figures have started to reflect the downturn, with total seed funding and deal count dropping in July. 

But that doesn’t mean there’s no dry powder left in the market. There are plenty of new firms popping up with plans to invest at seed stage — Cornerstone VC, for example — and VCs still have buckets of cash left in their coffers from the heady fundraising days of 2021. 

But who’s been driving seed-stage investment in Europe so far this year?

Using data from Dealroom, Sifted has curated a list of the most active investors at seed-stage in Europe in 2022 (so far). Do note that some of the investors listed also invest at Series A and beyond.

The most active investors at seed stage in Europe in 2022 (so far):

1. Seedrs

An image of the Seedrs team, one of the most active investors at seed stage in Europe so far in 2022
The Seedrs team

Latest fund: Seedrs is an equity crowdfunding platform that offers seed capital to startups. It has approximately 25 to 40 startups or scaleups and VC firms available for investment on its platform at any time. 

Focus: Seedrs helps companies from seed to Series D to achieve their fundraising goals, through their own communities and the Seedrs investor base. 

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 32

Gender split of investment team: There are 25 people in the investment team, with around a 50:50 gender split. There are 12 women in the team, including chief investment officer Kirsty Grant.

Successful raises on the platform: 

  • Jarvo, a workspace management platform based in Reading, UK.
  • Laka, an insurtech headquartered in London.
  • Oddbox, a UK-based company that runs a subscription service for surplus fruit and veg.

Advice for your portfolio founders in the current market:

Equity crowdfunding has seen a significantly shallower dip compared to elsewhere in the private markets. We believe that with the right terms, there is still significant interest in good early and growth-stage businesses. We’re still seeing approximately 90% success rate on the platform for campaigns hitting their fundraising target.

We do, however, see that companies are taking less investment during their overfunding, and we are advising those raising with us that this should be factored into their business plans. 

We are having careful conversations with a lot of our clients about whether this is the right time for them to raise, and part of that consideration is how their community might be impacted by the current climate.

2. Bpifrance

Latest fund: Bpifrance has dozens of small, long-standing funds that startups can apply to.

Focus: Bpifrance aims to support the growth of the French tech ecosystem by supporting entrepreneurs. Most of its investments are in French-based companies, with a few investments in other European countries and the US. The majority of its investments are in early-stage companies, but it doesn’t count out investing in companies at later stages.

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 25

Notable investments: 

  • Ada Tech School, a feminist programming school based in France.
  • Mayday, a Paris-based company providing an intelligent assistant for customer service.
  • UMIAMI, a Paris-based startups producing a plant-based chicken alternative.

Sifted approached Bpifrance for comment but didn’t receive a response. 

3. Kima Ventures

An image of Jean (middle) and some of the Kima Ventures team

Latest fund: Paris-based Kima Ventures is the angel investment arm of French telecoms billionaire Xavier Neil. It’s not clear how much the fund, which is managed by Jean de La Rochebrochard, currently has to deploy. 

Focus: Kima says it invests €150k one-off tickets in 100 new deals per year at any stage, deal size and sector.

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 24

Notable investments: 

  • Cera, an elderly care platform headquartered in London.
  • Sorare, an NFT-based virtual trading card game, based in Paris.
  • PayFit, a unicorn fintech based in Paris.

4. Speedinvest

Latest fund: An €80m fund announced in 2021, with a focus on sustainability.

Focus: Speedinvest has six sector-focused investment teams who are interested in: deeptech, fintech, health, industrial tech, marketplaces and consumer and SaaS and infrastructure companies. The team writes cheques of up to €1m for pre-seed companies, and up to €3m for seed-stage companies.

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 22

Gender split of investment team: There are 40 full-time investors in the investment team, with 13 women and 27 men. There are 17 partners, including four women and 13 men. 

Notable investments: 

  • TIER, an escooter rental app headquartered in Berlin.
  • Bitpanda, a Vienna-based cryptocurrency trading startup.
  • Wefox, an insurtech platform based in Berlin.

Advice for your portfolio founders in the current market: “Don’t freak out. Take this time to carefully assess your product market fit and your pathway to scalable revenues, and make sure you have 24 to 36 months of runway before you need to raise again,” advises Oliver Holle, Speedinvest CEO and managing partner.

5. Y Combinator

Latest fund: Twice per year YC invests $500k into each company that’s accepted into its startup accelerator.

Focus: The startup fund and accelerator considers companies at any stage and in any field, making investments globally across the US, India, the UK and many more countries. 

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 19

Gender split of investment team: Y Combinator doesn’t have partners, and many people are involved in the decision to fund a company. 

Notable investments: 

  • Noloco, a no-code platform for creating apps, based in Dublin.
  • Planet A Foods, a company making 100% cocoa-free chocolate, based in Munich.
  • Bemlo, a Stockholm-based platform for comparing care staffing companies and assignments.

Advice for your portfolio founders in the current market: 

Some advice YC offers is:

  • Founders need to ask themselves: What is my actual situation? How much cash do I have? What’s my runway?
  • The move for some is to go on the offensive.
  • This is a great time if you’re the underdog and your large competitor is in trouble.

👉 Read: Pre-seed funding 101: How to raise from those who’ve been there

Best of the rest

6. Seedcamp — One of the best-known early-stage investors in Europe, based in London. Sector agnostic.

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 18

7. High-Tech Gründerfonds — A seed-stage VC investing in digital tech, industrial tech, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas, based in Bonn, Germany.

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 15

8. SFC Capital — A London-based early stage investor focused primarily on startups in the UK.

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 14

9. Haatch — The team consists of former founders who are interested in investing in pre-seed and seed stage companies. Most of its investments are in the UK, according to Dealroom. 

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 14

10. Vitosha Venture Partners — A Sofia-based fund that invests in early-stage and growth-stage companies based in or related to Bulgaria.

Seed-stage deal count in Europe in 2022 (so far): 14

Sophie Zhang is an editorial assistant at Sifted.

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