Image credits: The VC family
La Famiglia, a Berlin-based venture capital fund (no, not the mafia organization, in case there’s any confusion) has raised €250 million for its third combined seed fund (which is €165 million euro) and for its first growth co-investment fund. (90 million euros).
The fund has a vertical focus on ML and AI, data, logistics and supply chains, B2B consumerization, fintech and insurtech, sustainability, so-called “Industry 4.0” as well as other new technology areas.
The firm currently has more than 70 startups in its portfolio, including Deel (a payroll and human resources platform, most recently valued at $12 billion); Personio (human resources management software); Forto (digital freight transmission); as well as Y42 (data operations cloud), Sweep (carbon accounting platform, similar to US Watershed) and Buynomics (trade operating system). To date, the fund has raised more than €350 million since its inception in 2017, when it closed its first seed fund of €35 million. The second initial fund of 60 million euros came in 2019.
The fund aims to invest up to 5 million euros in B2B startups. Zurich-based quality management platform Ethon.ai is Fund 3’s first investment.
The family offices behind brand names like Valentino, Adidas, Swarovski, Hapag Lloyd and Estée Lauder are LPs in Fund 3. La Famiglia is also newly backed by entrepreneurs like Ilkka Paananen (Supercell), Ross Mason (MuleSoft ) and Qasar portfolio founders. Younis (Applied Intuition), Hanno Renner (Personio) and Michael Wax (Forto).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, La Famiglia can land LPs that other VCs may struggle to reach. The family of the founding partner, Dr. Jeannette zu Fürstenberg, owns the measurement technology company Krohne Messtechnik (annual revenues of over $780 million), which places them in the rather rarefied circles of European high society. However, it must be said that Fürstenberg is a long-time investor herself, having backed AMAZE and Angel (a smartphone shopping app aimed at fashion bloggers), as well as working in tech businesses in general.
Fürstenberg told me in an interview, “I think we were lucky (with fundraising) because we had really good performance numbers for fund one. Fund one and two were much harder (to raise) by comparison. And the bottom three gave us a lot of performance and spoke for itself. Fundraising is always a lot of work, but I think it was by far the easiest fundraiser in comparison.”
The team is also led by general partner Judith Dada, who previously led Facebook’s VC Initiative and previously managed Amazon Europe’s marketing strategy.
Did they see any problem in raising funds given the problems related to today’s macroeconomic environment? Dada responded, “It’s a conversation we’ve had on an ongoing basis… But I think in general, as we invest in B2B technology companies, we see market issues hitting us less, potentially , than other funds.”
“There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but generally just looking at the kinds of fundamentals of the kinds of companies we invest in, maybe Europe won’t be home to the next Facebook or the next Amazon, but we will be home to the next Siemens or the next Mersk,” she commented.
Fürstenberg added that the drop in tech stocks and the layoffs “were actually good for the ecosystem. We’re seeing a lot of great talent coming back into the market. So it’s getting easier and easier to hire great people. And I think from a business flow perspective, the signal-to-noise ratio has gotten a lot better. In addition, the quality of the founders that I have spoken to in the last three or four months is also better.”
Perhaps fittingly for International Women’s Day, La Famiglia’s senior investment team now comprises 60% women (50% of the total team) and 60% people with a migration background (30% of the total team).
SAP Hybris founder and enterprise expert Carsten Thoma also joins La Famiglia as an advisor.