London-based generalist VC firm Talis Capital has announced the first close of a new early-stage fund. So far it has closed $100m of the $175m fund — its third and the largest yet.
The firm is best known for its investments in cybersecurity company Darktrace, French insect farming startup Ynsect, UK fintech Onfido and US fintech unicorn Carta.
Talis says it sees a “clear path” to make a 5x return on its first fund.
Where will Talis spend its money?
Talis will continue to lead seed and Series A rounds in tech infrastructure, climate tech and consumer internet startups across the US, Europe and UK.
It's written cheques up to $10m and has an average investment size between $2m-7m. 50% of the fund is reserved for follow-on investments.
It’s backed more than 50 companies so far and has over $400m assets under management. About 70% of the portfolio is Europe-based, while the rest has its home across the pond in the US.
It recently led a £10m Series into UK startup Laced, a platform for buyers and sellers to trade premium sneakers.
Is the investment environment improving?
Matus Maar, cofounder and managing partner at Talis, is upbeat and believes that an investment cycle turnaround is on the horizon.
“You have generative AI boosting lots of different things. You're back to normal in terms of what the environment looks like. You have very very focused founders. You have a great pool of talent,” he says. “So it's a really great company-building environment.”
Maar reckons that 2021 and 2022 were “outliers” and the levels of deal activity and the kinds of valuations we saw in those heady days are unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.
"This is definitely much much better for us. The tourists [hedge funds and other non-VC investors in the tech world], as we say, have left. We are back to the environment that we are used to,” Maar says.