Blossom Capital the record-breaking European VC led by premier investor Ophelia Brown gears up to continue its unprecedented run of top-tier investments and further its position as Europe’s go-to VC for ambitious founders with the launch of its latest $185m fund.
Blossom Capital’s fund has been raised from LPs spanning leading institutional investors and high-profile tech entrepreneurs. The second fund comes less than 12 months since its first, and takes the total funds raised to $270m. Since launch, Blossom has made investments in many of Europe’s fastest-growing and most innovative tech firms from payments unicorn Checkout.com, to travel visionary Duffel and cybersecurity platform Tines. This hugely successful track record resulted in the second fund being heavily oversubscribed.
Set up in 2017 by the former Index Ventures and LocalGlobe VC Ophelia Brown, Blossom Capital’s vision remains steadfast; to partner with the best early-stage, industry-defining founders across Europe by offering a perfect balance of US network and operational expertise with local knowledge to tap into Europe’s unrivalled opportunity.
Blossom has rapidly become the first choice for European founders building with global ambitions, combining on the ground expertise focused at the early-stage with close ties to the leading US later-stage funds enabling founders to have access to the best growth investors.
Blossom Capital partner, Imran Ghory said, “When we looked at the data it was very clear at the growth stage that, outside of Index and Accel, the most successful European outcomes were driven by the combination of European early-stage investors and top-tier US growth investors.
“From day one we prioritised building those relationships, both to share knowledge but also provide a bridge for European founders to access the best growth capital as they scale.”
In just five years, the volume and quality of European investment opportunities has grown five-fold, with more money than ever coming from venture capital’s largest US firms looking to diversify their portfolios on the continent. Over the past few years, Dealroom data shows deals involving US VC in Europe almost doubled in value to $16.6bn, up from $10.9bn in 2018. While figures from Atomico’s 2019 State of European Tech report show European startups received a record $34.3bn in 2019, with 19% of funding rounds including an American investor, twice the number of rounds compared to 2015.
European founders now have the same expectations as those on the west coast. They want to secure investors who can bring not only money but also the ambition, real operational expertise and networks that can enable them to build for hyper-scale. Historically European founders have been forced to relocate to the US with early-stage US funds lacking the local expertise and network to help founders hire and scale on the ground in Europe.
Blossom Capital has stepped into this gap, enabling founders to build their startups from Europe with the same level of support as they’d get in Silicon Valley and access to follow-on capital from the leading growth funds who are becoming ever more active in backing European leaders.
With its first fund – the fastest-ever first time fundraise from a female VC in Europe, Blossom Capital established itself as the go-to VC for ambitious product-driven founders seeking to build global category winners. In just under a year, this fund put Blossom Capital in the top 5% of funds of 2018/2019 vintage in the US and EU, according to private investment benchmark data from Cambridge Associates and Preqin.
Travel booking platform Duffel, which Blossom Capital partnered with in 2017, has since received two follow-on investment rounds led by Benchmark and Index Ventures, while cybersecurity automation platform Tines, run by Dublin-based Eoin Hinchy, raised a total of $14.1m in 2019 attracting follow-on investment led by Accel Partners.
Other investments include payments unicorn Checkout.com, design leader Frontify and consumer healthcare startup Inne.
Tines founder, Eoin Hinchy said, “As an early-stage start-up we knew how important choosing the right investors would be to our long-term success. We chose to work with Blossom because the entire team has an innate understanding of the problems we’re trying to solve and is passionate about helping us grow the way we want to. Blossom isn’t just our investor and adviser, the partners are friends and an important part of our team.”
Duffel founder and CEO, Steve Domin said, “The Blossom team have been true partners since the early days of Duffel, long before they invested. They are incredibly talented, generous with their time, and don’t mind getting their hands dirty, precisely what you need in the early days.
“They are a game changer in the European VC ecosystem and this new fund is going to massively amplify their impact. We couldn’t be more proud to be part of their portfolio.”
“With its second fund, the London-based VC is doubling down on this commitment to form mutually beneficial partnerships at seed and Series A level with the continent’s brightest founders in the fintech, travel, devops, infrastructure and cybersecurity sectors.
Ophelia Brown, founder of Blossom Capital said, “The volume and quality of European startups is now five times what it was five years ago. The US funds have noticed this and they are investing more frequently and with more capital in the very best European startups. Blossom Capital has established itself across Europe as the first choice for entrepreneurs in part because of our strong relationships with the US’s very best investors. Today we announce our second fund through which we will keep investing with conviction in European-founded companies that we know will one day operate successfully in global markets.”
Imran Ghory, partner at Blossom Capital said, “As Europe’s first wave of unicorns have their exits, we are seeing the next generation of angel investors and founders emerging, having seen what it takes to build for hyper-scale. We want to work closely with these early-stage investors and founders, right across the continent. Blossom Capital can be a strong partner to startups and we are committed to the heavy-lifting that is inherent in supporting young tech startups to get to the next stage. The operational experience and entrepreneurial insights found within our team mean that we share a similar outlook and ambitions as our portfolio companies.
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