Playfair Capital, the U.Okay. seed investor, has raised a brand new $32 million fund to proceed investing in promising early-stage tech startups.
The VC agency, based by in 2013 by Federico Pirzio-Biroli, who’s fund II’s sole LP, is an early investor within the likes of Stripe, Ravelin, Thought Machine, CryptoFacilities and Mapillary.
Pirzio-Biroli not too long ago re-located to Kenya, however will nonetheless act as Chairman of Playfair Capital . Day-to-day, the fund will likely be managed by Chris Smith, who not too long ago joined as a Associate. He’s been an lively angel investor for over ten years, and is taking on administration duties from Georgia Taylor Foster, who is claimed to have resigned after 5 years with the fund for well being causes.
Smith beforehand labored for quick rising B2B telecommunications firm Plan.com, the place he held senior roles together with Gross sales Director, Head of Tech/BI and Head of Product Growth. His has made 14 angel investments throughout the U.Okay. and U.S., and counts three exits to this point: Nearbuy Techniques (acquired by RetailNext), together with publicly listed MoPowered and Bidstack. Previous to that, he labored within the Metropolis in varied roles.
Thus far, Playfair Capital says it has backed over 50 founding groups, and plans to take a position the brand new $32 million fund over the following three to 5 years. The agency is focusing on early-stage corporations throughout all sectors, with a selected give attention to deep tech — e.g. synthetic intelligence, machine studying and pc imaginative and prescient — and B2B SaaS and marketplaces, which have historically been areas of energy for Playfair.
Its preliminary cheque dimension is often $500,000, though I’m informed that the Playfair workforce like to have interaction with founders on the earliest phases of a startup’s journey, together with sometimes investing smaller quantities on the pre-seed stage. I count on that method is mirrored in plenty of family names backed out of the agency’s first smaller fund.
Provides Pirzio-Biroli in an announcement: “I’m delighted to be asserting Chris’s rent and the launch of Playfair’s Fund II. Our new funding workforce has nice hands-on expertise with startups and a observe report of backing founders early and enthusiastically. The U.Okay. has proved a wealthy searching floor for Playfair Capital, offering 80 p.c of our present portfolio. With the brand new fund we are going to hunt down startups that use deep tech and knowledge to create a defensible proposition that has longevity. We’re massively enthusiastic about alternatives within the deep tech, SaaS and market segments the place now we have already demonstrated success”.
In the meantime, Smith will work with Joe Thornton, who has been with Playfair Capital for nearly 4 years, and Henrik Wetter-Sanchez, who joins as an affiliate from Financial institution of America Merrill Lynch. Thornton joined Playfair in early 2015, having labored at Google and Fb. For the final three years, he has been Playfair’s Head of Expertise. He’s proceed to help portfolio corporations with recruitment however may also be sourcing and main Playfair investments.