Top Seed Venture Capital Funds in Europe

Just like we gave you a summary of America’s seed fund for startups hoping these will help your US-based businesses, we now want to bring our European audiences a list of European seed funds for startup founders and entrepreneurs. 

To ease your search, we ordered these alphabetically. We also included the country where each was founded if you’re looking for European seed funds per specific country. We hope you can profit well from this. 

Agoranov - France

While this is truly a French science and tech incubator, we bring it up now as they’ve just affirmed their commitment towards projects during this COVID-19 pandemic. With 420 incubated projects, they’ve raised over 1.5B euros and created over 380 companies. We’re also glad we took a bit of French up in high school to summarize their French-only website for you a bit. 

They focus on 3 main areas, which are:

- Green-tech and industry

- Digital

- Health

And the promise to this program is personalized accompaniment, infrastructure, acceleration, and a community of entrepreneurs. 

Caixa Capital Risc - Spain

Here’s a VC firm in Barcelona that provides equity and convertible loans to innovative companies based in Spain. If you know” La Caixa” Group, you’ll be better able to imagine having backup funds come primarily from that source. They currently have 195 million Euro under their management, which might include minority investments from other public and private parties.

Their focus is on companies that deal with:

  • Corporate software, communications equipment, and Internet or mobile businesses. There are between 20 and 29,7 million euros for series A rounds in this category.  
  • Healthcare services, therapies, developing drugs, and medical devices. 17 and 46,5 million euros go to those startups specializing in life sciences for series A rounds when dedicated to biotechnology and medical equipment.
  • Industrial tech, including new materials, sustainability, and process technology, among others. 

There’s also “35 million euros focused on small and medium-sized enterprises with innovative manufacturing technologies, in the startup and growth phase.” 

Their portfolio includes a private sales club for wine over the Internet called Bodeboca, a design and experimental screening startup that seeks new polymorphs and co-crystals of active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as a geolocated job search app, for example. There’s also Glovo on their list, the mobile app for on-demand deliveries, as well as an online tire sales place via mobile workshops and one pet care home. 

Cherry ventures - Germany

If you make this Berlin-based VC your first call, as they wish, they can back your startup with as little as 300k to as much as 3M euros. They then have a more significant reserve to continue on financing. 

There’s no need to be a German-based company yourself. Being European is enough. Overall, they invest in pre-seed, seed, and support stages. 

There’s no main focus for this VC firm, yet it pays attention to basics such as a sizable market and your proposed problem and solution. Even B2Bs are welcome.

The count of seed investments goes up to 12-15 per year, and, believe it or not, their main criteria is your founding team, which they expect to be outstanding, “and a driven founder with a strong idea.” Seriously, they feel it’s never too early to contact them, so if the idea and team are all you have, they welcome your contact already. Forget about a DNA signature, however. 

Creandum - Sweden

We now include a Swedish VC that’s raised 660 M euros and invested in 79 companies. 48% of their investments have lied in seed rounds, 39% to series A ones and the remaining 13% have gone to later stages of funding. The lowest initial amount for them so far has been 200K Euros, with 8M being their high cap amount. 

Their investment interests are fast-growing technology companies, which have included Spotify, iZettle, and Careship. With home bases in Stockholm, San Francisco, and Berlin, their backed companies go from community-supported insurance startups to food reinvention.

HV Holtzbrinck Ventures - Germany

Next on this list of European seed funds is one of the most significant European early-stage venture funds, a firm that became independent in 2010. 

This German VC firm focuses on European digital companies that nail “the disruptive potential of the Internet.” Based out of Berlin and Munich, they have more than 185 companies as part of their funding list. 

Their current fund size rounds 306 million Euros. According to them, “the typical involvement starts with an initial investment in the range of €200K to €5M.” However, they also state it “can grow up to a total investment of € 50M over several rounds and stages of maturity.” Not bad, right? 

Though their backings include the German startup Flixbus, and German-born Outfittery, “Europe’s biggest personal shopping service for men,” it also lists Groupon, for instance, the online marketplace that’s served over a million merchants to date, and a ride-sharing company called Cabify that operates in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. They’re the ones who acquired Easy Taxi if that rings a louder bell. 

Here are 3 of Holtzbrinck Ventures’ considerations for you to take into account before contacting them:

  1. Use (free) resources and platforms to encourage your product development, test and make it popular
  2. Let them know why your company makes for an appealing proposition by considering their portfolio and investment track record. 
  3. Don’t work privately, but get feedback from friends and other founders.

Hoxton Ventures - United Kingdom

These guys would rather be your startup’s first VCs. Their investments go from $250K up to $5M per round. And, as far as their portfolio goes, they’ve got 3 unicorns in their backing list. 

Though aimed at European startups, they’re into tech at its early stages. That fact is likely why they’re emphatic about how much Silicon Valley matters in this line of business. They believe valuable companies only scale by a set of characteristics that is currently more available by tackling the US market, which is why they work closely with founding teams to do just that.

As usual, they’re looking for founders who aren’t only experts in their area, but also want to “invent new market categories or transform large, existing industries.” If this is your first entrepreneurship or you’re a pro, that makes no difference to them. And this goes hand in hand with their lack of concern for risk minimization and more of a risky chance at a significant return. Expect them to want to be a shareholder of yours for at least 7 - 10 years, however. 

Idinvest Partners - France

Founded in 1997, Idinvest Partners “has established itself as a leading finance specialist for high-growth European SMEs and a major player in the private equity mid-market.” In 2018, They joined the Eurazeo group, a leading global investment firm that also works with real estate. 

Assets under Idinvest Partners alone round at 2,1 billion Euros and its portfolio includes companies such as Securitas, Burger King, Arena, and Glovo. They invest “from seed to series C in all types of sectors – Fintech, Mobility, Health, Adtech, Energy, Proptech, Deep Tech, and Enterprise Software.” Focused primarily in Europe, they occasionally invest in Asia and the US. Furthermore, their portfolio accompaniment has them with 3 IPOs on NASDAQ and offices in New York, Singapore, Shanghai, and Seoul.

They also have an SME academy, which serves as a business development hub. 

Index Ventures - Switzerland

Check this one out! In April, Index Ventures announced $2B in new funds for entrepreneurs throughout this health crisis. Maybe this is tied to their long-term human and personal orientation, making this their company philosophy rather than stressing their focus on just traditional deals and figures. 

This firm originated out of a Swiss venture capital working with companies at every stage and across the globe. Founded out of Geneva in 1996, they’ve expanded to London and San Francisco. Their idea was to bring Silicon Valley to Europe. 

Some of the companies they work with include Etsy, Slack, Skype, and other companies from various sectors. From retail to healthcare over to entertainment, they’re the ones behind DropBox and Zendesk’s exit, for instance. They’ve also got a summer fellowship to support innovative student entrepreneurs.

Image contains a person working on a computer

Lakestar - Switzerland

Lakestar, as a Swiss VC firm, also invests in tech during early and growth stages. Founded by one of Europe’s leading venture capitalists, Klaus Hommels, in 2013, the firm’s located in Zurich, but also in Berlin, London, New York and Hong Kong. By February 2020, they had already raised a milestone of $735 million. 

In their words, “Lakestar has invested in many of the companies that define today’s digital economy, including Facebook, Spotify and Skype, and more recently Opendoor, Omio, Glovo, and Revolut.” They also claim to be “hungry but not greedy. We have powerful connections, yet we speak quietly.”

Northzone - Norway

To begin, Northzone is empathic about their investment process being the same through this COVID-19 pandemic. They even made an emergency resource list for businesses in Europe and raised two of their most recent funds during this hardship. They seem proud of their excellent standings with a public messaging of having “survived two financial crises unscathed.” And their message in terms of their company culture is very straightforward in them being “happier operating on principles rather than an overriding investment thesis.”

With a 1996 foundation year, Northzone has a list of over 150 investments and more than 1.5 billion euros raised. They run their business out of Stockholm, London, and New York. 

Their interest in investment crosses all of Europe and the US in seeds for under 1 million Euros, in series A and B for 1-25 M Euros, and they also deal with sporadic exceptional cases of later funding on the side. For series A and B, they ask for a strong founding team and a product that targets a significant market opportunity in a way you need to be ready to prove. Your company might just otherwise be prepared to scale globally, and that will be equally admissible, as well. 

As for the usual $100k MRR bar, they say that KPI is the one about which they genuinely don’t care. In their opinion, a company can be fully ready for series A without meeting that. If that’s your case, maybe you’d like to make the best of that with Northzone. And no, we’re not being paid for the info we put together for you. 

Their portfolio includes Spotify, Kahoot!, and Dots, to name a few.

Disruptive companies in attractive markets can find here their much sought-after niche. If that doesn’t seem reassuring, how about the promise that they “hold an unwavering commitment” for their portfolio? They claim they’ll “always be there when you need us. No ifs, no buts.” We thought you’d like to know that. 

Point Nine Capital - Germany

Based out of Germany’s capital city, the VC firm that’s next in our list of European seed funds focuses on early-stage SaaS and online marketplaces all over the world. They also fund companies working with AI, crypto, and more. 

As is the case with other VCs above, they also like being your first investor. 

Point Nine Capital is run by a “small, international and down-to-earth team,” which perhaps becomes more evident when you see the 11 people posing for their team picture behind this line on their website.  

Unconcerned with your location, their investments spread over 16 countries so far, with just a third of them being German. The amount they invest can range from a few hundred thousand up to 2 M. We left currency out of that figure, in case you noticed, because they say it can be dollars, Euros, pounds or others. They also stress that they keep reserves for follow-on rounds, acknowledging that it takes 5-10 years to build a sizable enterprise. 

Contrary to similar VC firms that seem to think like Point Nine is basing its business, you shouldn’t be too concerned if your team is not at its best before you contact this VC firm. For Point Nine Capital, “the most important things [...] are dedication, founder/market fit, and of course, integrity.”

Zendesk, Delivery Hero, and TypeForm are all part of their selected investments. 

Sofinnova Partners - France

Welcome a life science variation now! Within life sciences, this France-based VC firm focuses on paradigm-shifting tech in medical devices, as well as biopharmaceutical and industrial biotech. Early-stage startups are as welcome as late-stage public companies, corporate spin-offs, and the occasional turnarounds.

Headquartered in Paris, they have other offices in London and Milan and have backed over 500 companies. Over the course of 50 years, they’ve managed over 2 billion Euros, and its portfolio includes companies such as Abivax, Polyneuron, and Verona Pharma.

Seed Camp - United Kingdom

The last one in our list of European seed funds coins itself as “a syndicate of Europe’s leading investors, angels, and founders.” Seed Camp’s corporate investors include MassMutual Ventures, British Business Investments, and Unilever Ventures, to give you a few possibly reassuring names. 

Part of the alumni to this seed fund include Pointy, a company acquired by Google in January of this year, and TransferWise, a British online money transfer service.  

Founded by a couple of Estonians, this last one can now brag with a $3.5 billion valuation and over 7 million customers worldwide. 

This company isn’t this seed camp’s only unicorn, either. Revolut ($5.5Bn valuation, February 2020) and UiPath ($7Bn+ valuation, April 2019) are also a part of the 3 unicorn alumni mix. 

If you’re after following up on their application process, they’ve made their internal process very clear, which is broken down into six stages and explained hand in hand with waiting times and more around their pre-seed investment. To sum up a bit, there’s pre-seed funding of “£100k in exchange for 7.5% target ownership”, yet they can also “bring in leading angels and high net-worths to anchor your round up to £250k.”

The most relevant slides

Though now focused on European VC firms, we’ve been able to see that investment worldwide is very focused on particular areas to a new business. For some, that means having a stellar team. For others, it all depends on your market choices and the size of it. Some only really care about your proposed problem and solution

Whatever’s the case, however, we can undoubtedly say that outstanding and compelling presentation material is a valuable asset to make your way into a particular investment entry point. 

That’s why our business works hard at offering top-notch quality in startup pitch decks. A golden team of business analysts, coupled with our knowledgeable and artistic design teams are at the back-end of our consulting and design services. There are tons to learn about how to craft the perfect pitch deck, what goes into our market slides, how to order our business presentations, and the best design to speak of a brand

We’ve covered many of these topics for you to scout for free in the startup insights category of our blog and our YouTube channel. If you ever need a hand, please don’t hesitate to come in contact with us.

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