VentureFriends, the early-stage venture capital firm with Greek roots, makes the first closing of its third fund at €90M, aiming to reach its final target of €100M. Investors in the new fund are family offices, and high-net-worth individuals, founders, and operators, as well as the European Investment Fund and the Hellenic Development Bank of Investments.
With the increase in its office locations in London and Warsaw, VentureFriends will also increase its geographical investment focus to support startups from Latin America and the Middle East.
The news marks the consecutive SEE venture capital firm raising a new fund in the last couple of months. Following the recent closing of LAUNCHub Ventures’ €74M Fund II, the $47M Fund II of Marathon Venture Capital, and the €60M third fund of Eleven Ventures, the SEE venture capital ecosystem is on a steady growth trajectory in the last months of 2021.
Find out more about the plans and the investment strategy of the new fund of VentureFriends.
Five years, 35 portfolio companies, 2 exits
Founded in 2016 by the two angel investors, and entrepreneurs, Apostolos Apostolakis and George Dimopoulos, the first €20M fund of VentureFriends was the first 100% private venture capital fund in Greece. Two years later, with the support of the European Investment Fund (EIF), VentureFriends raised a second €50M fund.
Since its inception, the venture capital firm has backed 35 regional startups, the latest ones being the personal finance bot Plum, the AI real estate platform Proportunity, and the proptech company Blueground. The Greek VC also has two exits of its portfolio companies – InstaShop, a grocery and delivery app, and the data integration platform Blendo.
“Raising a private-only fund in Greece in 2015 wasn’t easy. We have worked hard to prove the investment worthiness of the asset class in the region. We are now happy to have reached a point where we experience multi-hundred million exits as with Instashop, and companies reaching Unicorn status such as Blueground,” George Dimopoulos comments.
Following suit with its expanded geographical focus, VentureFriends has already begun eyeing and backing Latin American and Middle Eastern startups. In August 2021, it made an investment in the Mexican mobile app for groceries Orchata, while in April it participated in the seed round of Huspy, a Dubai-based online mortgage platform. In June, it also joined the historic for the Latin American fintech ecosystem $43M Series A round of Belvo, a Mexican open banking startup.
In terms of target verticals and stages, the investment strategy of the new fund of VentureFriends will remain the same. It will back seed and Series A startups with proptech, fintech, traveltech, and consumer solutions, as well as marketplaces and SaaS companies. The ticket size varies between €300,000 to €2.5M for first-time investments, while follow-ons can reach up to €10M.