These four iconic European founders plan to kick the ass of VCs who never started a company – Meczyki.Net

Until recently, Wise co-founder Tavet Hinrikus and Teleport co-founder Stan Tamakiwi had banded together as a “mini angel brand”, known as “Tawett + Stan”. Tamakiwi has done around 50 angel deals, reportedly, Hinriches has done as many as 150. But they were effectively pooling their personal capital as angel investors. However, apparently this was not enough for the two, as well as the former co-founders, they were aware that almost no VC funds in Europe are founded by real former entrepreneurs. And if you think about it, they are right.

Atomico may have Niklas Zennström, or the profounders may have (or rather, as both are far more focused) Brent Hoberman (LastMinute.com) and Michael Burch (Bebo), but these are hardly recent entrepreneurs, To put it lightly. In the US, founder-founded VCs are far more plentiful than in Europe, a fact that has not escaped many European entrepreneurs.

So today’s launch of a new project involving Hinrikus and Tamakiwi, along with two others, is a fascinating glimpse into a new wave of European VCs founded and run by former tech startup “operators.”

“Plural”, is a new €250m early stage venture fund started by Ian Hogarth (formerly Songkick), Tamkiwi, Henrikus and Khaled Heloui (a former tech CEO). The fund’s founders state that other technical founders/partners will be unveiled when the time comes, and their ambition is to lead an early-stage to early-stage funding round of €10m. The band will also focus on 4-5 deals per year per investor, so that they can be done “by hand”.

As Plural’s founders point out, less than 10 percent of investors in Europe are former operators, while more than half are tech investors in the US. This means that founders tend to miss out on investor experience from other founders, and this is a valid criticism.

Helioi said in a statement: “Today so many opportunities remain untapped because unusual founders fail to meet standard investors’ pattern recognition criteria. Sadly, investors have the potential to take the risks necessary to meet founders’ ambitions.” and the full extent of those founders’ influence is not realized. There is great potential to be unlocked, especially in Europe, if we replace the funding mechanisms that still act as conservative gatekeepers today.

Tamkiwi said: “We are very optimistic about the potential of technology coming from Europe that can benefit the whole world, as well as improve the lives of people across the continent.”

The founders between them have founded four startups – Wise, Songkick, Teleport and Certific – and have been instrumental in three companies including Skype, BigPoint and Topia. Companies in their collective current portfolio include Deliveroo, Hopepin, Pipedrive, Corus, Uber, Xego and Bolt.

He says that as a plural, he has already invested in 14 companies, including: wing, nftport Energy storage company, an NFT infrastructure company FarmMetaverse Company ready player i and student banking challenger state Minister, However, the scale of his investments in these companies was not disclosed.

In a statement, Henriques said: “We are the investors we loved when we were building our companies. Establishing a company is a craft and the best way to learn that craft is to work with those people.” who have done it before.”

Hogarth said: “We tend to call experienced founders the ‘unemployed’ because once you experience the intense authorship that comes with creating something new it’s hard for someone to do the job again. We hired the unemployed. Pluralized to give them a place to call home and put their entrepreneurial energy behind the mission and founders they deeply believe in.”

Hinrichs co-founded Wise in 2010. Wise completed its first direct listing in the London market, which was also the largest tech listing ever in the UK. Before co-founding Vice, Tavet was Skype’s first employee. Hogarth co-founded Songkick in 2007, which was sold to Warner Music Group in 2017 and filed a $130 million settlement against Ticketmaster for anti-competitive behavior. Helioui was the CEO of Bigpoint from 2013 to 2017, of which he led the sale to Youzu. He was one of the early proponents of Uber, Deliveroo, Bolt Payments and MOS and helped found the Armenian National Interest Fund, in which he chairs the investment committee. Tamkiwi co-founded Teleport, which was sold to Topia in 2017.

In an interview Henriques spoke of some of the fighting: “Only VCs are all spreadsheet junkies, bankers, consultants, they have no idea what it means to run a company, how to build a company. So that’s the problem we solve.” We are building an investment platform where all GPs are former founders. And we are going to expand this to an irresistible army of large number of ‘unemployed’ who will be yours while building your company. will be on the side.”

Hogarth continued: “We’re trying to do something that’s really very much of a peer-to-peer structure, where, the next ‘unemployed’ who join have the same economic rights as Tawett and I, and Ultimately that’s what autonomy and freedom to make good investment decisions. So it’s an attempt to respect the fundamental freedoms of former founders and operators. We also think that that structure is the only way to scale, and it’s really never before. No one has. Ask any founder who’s going to raise money, it’s entrepreneurs who are a few years ahead of them that they love.”

Hogarth continued: “Since many of the current VCs who invest have not built companies, they focus on the story of this young man who stumbles into a great market opportunity and builds a great company. Right? Second time founder, Netflix, second time founder. It’s a really long list. And we think at heart it’s because you can be a better founder. The longer you do this, the more you craft the construction companies The more time you invest in, the better you get at it. So we think there’s a way to take someone who really wants to solve a seriously difficult problem, but hasn’t done it before, surround them with founders who have, so they’re like, you know, like, you know, ‘that Speed ​​up skill development.”

Henriques continued: “I’ve been in a lot of board meetings versus a respected venture capitalist. And he’s asking about last quarter’s legal expenses. Yes, it’s probably an important question, but it’s not one that Makes a company better at an early stage.The last thing they need is an obsession with an Excel spreadsheet.

Both told me that the investment themes of the plural would be climate, health, ‘the future of governance’ (as with the DAO) and ‘reduction of the opportunity gap’ (access to finance or education, traditionally called impact).

Hogarth concluded: “The dream for us will be to find the startup that’s going to build the first working scalable fusion reactor. It’s going to be an incredibly valuable business, and it’s going to have a huge impact. So We’re looking for the crossroads where you have a ton of impact on a really big important social issue like climate change, clean energy, but you also need to do it in a way that scales with capitalism.