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Meet Europe’s latest fund backing emerging VCs

Presight Partners is tapping into the explosion in the number of high-performing smaller VC funds.

By Michael Stothard

A new European fund-of-fund has entered the scene with the goal of backing emerging early-stage VC managers.

The fund-of-funds is called Presight Partners, which is launching with $200m in assets attempting to tap into the explosion in the number of high-performing smaller funds.

Eventually hoping to grow to $1bn in assets, it’s looking to put money mainly into first-time funds and emerging VC managers in Europe and the US that are targeting Seed or Series A deals.

“We’re looking to back the next generation of managers, who have great networks, strong track record and high convictions about the next decade of innovation,” said Nick Nigam, who will be running the fund.

The move speaks to two broad themes in VC at the moment.

One is that, in a hot market, everyone in VC is targeting earlier stage investments. That has led to big firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners and Sequoia all launching seed funds.

The other is that technology, regulation and the availability of capital has made it easier than ever to launch new funds — and there are now more than ever to choose from.

“A decade ago there were around a hundred sub-$100m funds… but now there over a thousand,” says Nigam.

Nigam adds that competition to get into the best funds is fierce. “For a lot of the new funds, out there there is as much competition to get into them as for a hot startup,” he says.

Others in Europe have been getting in on this trend as well. Fund-of-funds in Europe include Multiple, Isomer Capital and Draper Esprit.

Earlier this year Spain’s Aldea Ventures said it will operate as a fund of funds, investing in up to 20 early-stage “micro VC funds” across Europe.

Nigam said that Presight Partners would be sector agnostic but that they have an interest in life sciences, fintech, deep tech, crypto, and gaming and the metaverse.

Presight Partners is being launched by Apeiron Investment Group, the family office of Christian Angermayer, who is the anchor investor along with Rene Benko, the Austrian real estate and media investor.

Angermayer said that funds-of-funds in the past have often seen disappointing performances, but this is because they do not make high-conviction bets. He said that Presight Partners would be different as it would invest in risk-takers.

“Outstanding returns are achieved when outstanding individuals do things differently and disrupt the status quo… We love first-time funds and emerging managers, adopting the same skills to evaluate them as we do when evaluating young companies.”

Nigam was formerly an early-stage venture capital investor at Samsung Next — firstly in Silicon Valley and New York, and then Berlin.

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