Ophelia Brown’s Blossom Capital leads $12M funding in women-led relocation management SaaS startup, Localyze


Before Covid, almost two million people relocated for work within Europe each year and figures suggest that employee relocation is set to increase by 50% as we emerge from the pandemic. 

On similar lines, Hamburg, Germany-based SaaS startup Localyze is an innovative company that supports international staff during the entire relocation process. They do that with a comprehensive software solution platform that covers anything from visa requirements to social integration.

$12M funding

Now the news is just in that the global mobility platform has raised $12M in early-stage funding, led by London-based VC Blossom Capital. Launched by Ophelia Brown, a London-based venture capitalist and investor with a passion for technology, one of Forbes’s 30 under 30 rising stars, Blossom is a VC fund that connects US knowhow, expertise, networks and ambition, with Europe’s unrivalled opportunity.

In a conversation with UKTN, Brown says, “We look for big, disruptive ideas that will transform or even create new industries and we love Localyze because it’s enabling people to work for companies they love, no matter where they are in the world.”

She further adds, “Localyze has demonstrated impressive traction which further demonstrates its strong product-market-fit.”

Further, the funding, which comes off the back of record 300% revenue growth for Localyze in Q1 2021, also saw participation from previous investor Frontline Ventures, and is followed by Localyze’s participation in the Y Combinator Summer accelerator programme in 2019. 

A number of angel investors have also joined the round including Andrew Robb (ex-Farfetch), Des Traynor, co-founder and CSO at Intercom, Hanno Renner, co-founder and CEO at Personio, David Clarke, CTO at Workday and Michael Wax, CEO of Forto.

UK growth on cards

With some great names backing the startup, Localyze will use the latest funding to expand into new regions, starting with Ireland, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and the UK to help it serve even more high-growth companies with offices across Europe.

Hanna Asmussen, Co-Founder and CEO of Localyze, tells UKTN, “With the funding, we want to accelerate our expansion in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal & Spain, besides our core market Germany. We’ve been operating in these markets for a while with existing customers and now look at strongly growing our sales activities there.” 

Talking about the growth in the UK market, Asmussen adds, “Localyze is already present in the UK market which is a predominant destination for international talents and companies, both from outside of and within Europe, so it makes sense to focus on this market and it’s a great stepping stone.”

Localyze was founded in 2018 by Hanna Asmussen, Lisa Dahlke and Franzi Löw who, between them, had seen first-hand the difficulties and pain-points involved with relocating, having lived and worked across a combined total of 15 countries.  

The trio set up Localyze to simplify employee relocation and capitalise on the decentralisation of the workforce with a dedicated software solution.

How does it work?

Localyze does this by streamlining the entire migration process – from support with visa applications, work and residence permits and registration to housing and banking in the destination country – for high-growth enterprises including Free Now, Trade Republic, Babbel, Thoughtworks, Tier Mobility, DeepL, Forto and Personio. These enterprises have hundreds of employees from dozens of different countries that need to manage their paperwork between embassies, labour agencies, foreigners’ offices and the local town halls.

Additional services

Beyond employee relocation, Localyze additionally makes it easier for companies to operate across borders. It supports employers with opening new locations, business trips, temporary mobility and remote employment assessments. All while allowing HR departments to monitor each step and ensure compliance.

With clients like Free Now, Trade Republic, Babbel, Thoughtworks, Tier Mobility, DeepL, Forto and Personio — Localyze has already helped more than 2,000 people from over 100 countries relocate internationally and with lockdown easing, Localyze claims to be witnessing accelerating demand for its services, a growth of average at more than 30% month-on-month.

Based in London, but covering the whole of Europe, Blossom competes with the top-ranked VC investors in Europe and the US to champion the next European startups capable of making it on the global stage.

Blossom Capital: female-founded VC investor

Talking about UK tech VC industry for making efforts in focussing on diversity and inclusion, Brown says, “We like to think that as a female-founded VC investor, with one of the most diverse investment teams, we represent diversity and inclusion. At the same time, it’s important to look at other measures of ESG because companies that do not think about their long-term sustainability are not going to be successful. Blossom Capital’s first fund was ranked in the top 5% of funds raised in the US and Europe in 2019 according to Cambridge Associates and Prequin.” 

Their investment portfolio includes Robinhood, Deliveroo, Checkout.com and more startups like Duffel, Frontify, Tines, and also those dealing with climate crisis and sustainability. On this Brown adds, “Climate change is a huge issue but that is not the only way in which our society and environment can do better and create change. Fat Llama is pioneering a new type of low-impact living where people rent the big items they need, rather than buy them. Meanwhile, another startup Inne is addressing the huge issue of female fertility. The beauty of tech startups is that they can enable change and social good without necessarily being not-for-profit.”