Yvonne Bajela has joined London-based VC firm LocalGlobe as partner, where she’ll invest across its pre-seed and seed-stage funds, as well as its Series B and C fund.
Pheonix Court Group, the parent company of LocalGlobe, confirmed Bajela's appointment to Sifted.
Bajela previously cofounded Impact X Capital, a UK-based firm which invests in companies led by underrepresented entrepreneurs. In a post on LinkedIn, Bajela said she will remain at Impact X as a venture partner.
Before that, Bajela worked for Mitsui — a Japanese trading company — in London where she worked on deals in companies like Wise and Money Forward, according to LinkedIn.
“Yvonne has gradually become one of the most respected and trusted early-stage investors in Europe,” Andy Davis, investor at 10x10, tells Sifted.
“Last month, Yvonne messaged me at 11pm asking if I was still speaking with a founder, then joined the call and wouldn’t let the meeting end until her deck was done at 4am. This is who she is.”
Bajela is one of the only Black partners in European VC. In 2019 Sifted estimated that fewer than 1% of decision-making VCs in the UK were Black.
“Yvonne joining LocalGlobe is a sign of changing times,” June Angelides, investor at Samos VC, tells Sifted.
“I am optimistic about what it means for founders across Europe and Africa having a partner who can write larger cheques and adds incredible value to companies as they scale.”
Bajela’s appointment comes during a busy year for the recently rebranded Phoenix Court Group, the investment firm set up by Saul Klein and Robin Klein and known for its backing of European startup successes like Wise, TravelPerk, Monzo and Zego.
Earlier this year, it launched a new scaleup fund to back businesses from Series D all the way up to IPO.
The new fund means Phoenix Court is now investing from four funds: LocalGlobe, which backs startups at pre-seed and seed; Latitude, which invests at Series B and C; Solar, the scaleup fund; and Basecamp, which invests in other VCs.
Pheonix Court's team now stands at 30 people, and a spokesperson told Sifted that there are more appointments set to be announced this year. "We are continuing to add talented people to our team, both on the investment and operations side."