London VC Backed raises €150m fund for early-stage startups

Backed VC fund

London-based VC firm Backed has raised a €150m (£125.4m) fund to invest in early-stage tech startups across Europe.

The fund will be split in two, with half the money going towards a new fund called the Backed Encore 1 fund, which will focus on follow-on investments in later-stage rounds of its existing portfolio companies.

The other £62.7m will go to the VC’s existing Backed Core 2 fund, which will continue the firm’s investments in new seed-stage startups.

Founded in 2016, Backed now has 67 companies in its portfolio with a combined value of £8.9bn.

Its portfolio includes three unicorns – crypto technology companies Immutable X and SkyMavis, and banking platform Thought Machine.

Backed co-founder and partner, Alex Brunicki, said: “We’ve pushed ourselves to be an entrepreneurial fund. We’ve not always got it right, but we iterate, listen and test at pace.

“I couldn’t be more excited about where we stand today and what lies ahead: we’re developing a deeper edge in frontier markets like biotech and crypto.”

Backed has also heavily invested across the gaming industry, including London-based mobile gaming studio Hutch Games, which was later acquired by MTG Group for $375m.

Backed claims to separate itself from other venture capitalists with a ‘human-centric’ model, which takes the form of an 18-month founder support scheme, as well as leadership training, workshops, and mental health support.

Andre de Haes, the managing partner at Backed, explained the firm’s approach, saying “we believe in the human factor: as a seed founder, you are your company’s most valuable asset”.

de Haes added: “Today there are more funds than ever in Europe, but still very few communities uniting the most talented founders through deep friendships anchored on mutual support, a shared hunger for self-development and truly bold ambitions.”

Backed’s investors include publicly listed firms such as Groupe Bruxelles Lambert and private firms such as Wilshire Associates, as well as more than 20 additional entrepreneurs.