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Samaipata launches new €100m pan-European fund

The fund will invest up to €1.5m in 20-25 companies, with a focus on pan-European digital platforms.

By Freya Pratty

VC firm Samaipata is launching a new €100m fund to invest in digital platforms across Europe, with the hope that the continent’s ecosystem can come to rival the US and China. 

Founded in 2016 by Jose del Barrio and Eduardo Diez-Hochleitner, the firm invests in pre-seed and seed platforms, with its first fund worth €30m and invested in 17 companies. 

The firm has closed €75m of the new fund, and expects the remaining €30m to close in the next few months. Both the new fund and the previous one have been raised through a combination of family offices and institutions. 

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Three investments have already been made using the new fund, with the plan to invest up to €1.5m in 20-25 companies and use the remaining money as a resource to make follow on investments of up to €10m each.

“We invest in potential European leaders,” says del Barrio, who founded Samaipata after selling La Nevera Roja, a Spanish food delivery company. 

“We want European entrepreneurs to compete with Chinese and American ones, so they need to aim for European leadership we invest in those not just operating on a local or national level, but a continental level.”

Samaipata has already invested in companies including FoodCheri, a cooking delivery service based in Paris, Matera, a French online marketplace and Spanish company Streamloots, which provides tools for live streamers. 

Alongside France and Spain, the fund has made investments in the UK, Italy and Germany. 

“The ecosystems are very different,” says del Barrio. “More to the north, they’re more mature and there’s more competition. More to the south the markets are more in the development phase, with quick growth – Italy and Spain are moving very quickly, things are booming.”

Still, del Barrio explains, the VC ecosystem in Europe is behind the US and China but it’s a situation that provides a huge opportunity. 

“When you look at VC investment relative to GDP, we see the number in Europe is way lower than the number in the US and in Israel, or China. However, we see the components needed to develop are in Europe, and the money is starting to come.”

VCs used to be Silicon Valley centred, he says, but the coronavirus pandemic has helped shift that focus. 

“Previously, the talent was there but now the talent is not just in the valley, it’s all over the world, and that will affect emerging hubs like Europe.”

The pandemic has also accelerated the digital platform sector, which is Samaipata’s focus. “We’re investing in the same sectors as before the pandemic but they’ve seen huge growth ecommerce, for example, or at home entertainment platforms, or edtech platforms.”

“Covid has been an accelerator,” del Barrio says. “It’s put humankind into fast forward and it’s made the market much bigger all of a sudden.”

 

Freya Pratty covers news at Sifted. She has previously interned at Bloomberg and tweets from @FPratty

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