Back in September 2007 I attended a startup pitch event held in a London university lecture theatre. The surroundings weren’t plush. The slightly musty lecture theatre didn’t hint at the ambitions of the people present. But when Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype walked in, and joined in a panel of other seasoned tech entrepreneurs, everyone knew something important was happening.
What we saw of course, was the birth of Seedcamp, the first truly pan-European accelerator which went on to become a dedicated early-stage fund. Eight years on, it’s now releasing an updated portfolio analysis, on the occasion of passing 200 invested companies.
Of the 206 companies it’s so far invested in, 149 of them are still operational, 45 ended up shutting down and it’s had 12 exits of one sort or another. Thus its failure rate is less than 25%, a decent figure for most investors. Its companies have raised a total of $365M in funding, with the pace of investing speeding up. The last two years saw it invest in 95 startups.
Co-founded by Reshma Sohoni and Saul Klein, and now led by Sohoni and Partner Carlos Espinal, Seedcamp held multiple events across Europe to network Founders, Investors and Mentors. And the pace was, in those early years, blistering. Although I went on a few of their trips, their programme was intense.
The largest sector it’s now invested in is FinTech, with investments such as Transferwise, Revolut, Curve and Monese. And a €20M seed fund launching in mid-2014 now has 29 companies in its portfolio.
Sohoni said: “Seedcamp was born out of a need to connect the best parts of the European tech ecosystem to build businesses that could be world-class. Since we launched, the tech scene has changed dramatically. We have multiple tech hubs that are creating multi-billion dollar businesses. We have an influx of capital, particularly in London, with sizeable capital available that you didn’t see in 2007.”
Carlos Espinal, Partner at Seedcamp, added: “We’ve always been sector agnostic when considering companies for investment, but there are waves of innovation that emerge, and we do our best to get ahead of them and invest early. For example, 15 per cent of our portfolio is FinTech, a growing and exciting space in Europe, and recently we’ve made more investments into PropTech which now makes up 7 per cent of our companies.” It’s also invested in blockchain, cyber security and artificial intelligence.
Other data points include:
• 84 per cent of Seedcamp backed companies have received further funding.
• Number of investments per year: 2007 – 6, 2008 – 7, 2009 – 9, 2010 – 14, 2011 – 19, 2012 – 28, 2013 – 28, 2014 – 35 (7 were Seed), 2015 – 60 (22 were Seed).
• Top sector per year based on number of investments: 2007 – Analytics, 2008 – Analytics, 2009 – AdTech, 2010 – Cloud/Saas, 2011 – Cloud/Saas, 2012 – FinTech, 2013 – e-Commerce, 2014 – Media, 2015 – FinTech.
• Portfolio includes: FinTech – 15 per cent, Cloud/SaaS – 13 per cent, Analytics – 10 per cent, e-Commerce – 10 per cent, Media – 8 per cent, PropTech – 7 per cent, Developer Tools – 5 per cent, Social – 5 per cent, Marketplaces – 5 per cent, Gaming – 4 per cent, Communications – 3 per cent, IoT/Hardware – 3 per cent, HealthTech – 2 per cent, AdTech – 2 per cent, Travel – 2 per cent, Security – 2 per cent, EdTech – 2 per cent.
• Seedcamp companies have created over 2,500+ jobs in tech.
• It’s reviewed startups from 70 different countries and backed startups from 37.
• Seedcamp has co-invested alongside over 500 VCs, angels and corporate investors with 34% of the Seedcamp portfolio being backed by at least one US-based investor.
The latest 15 companies (pre-seed and seed) to join the Seedcamp portfolio include:
Alterest Investment – Investment management platform
for marketplace finance
Authentiq – Strong authentication without the
Beeline – Smart navigation for bicycles
Buildcon – Construction management tool
Cardlife – Subscription management platform
Finance Fox – Insurance comparison and
Greenhouse – Cloud-based continuous integration
service for mobile app developers
Nanoget – Online rental management platform
Open Sensors – An Internet of Things company
providing public and private infrastructure for real-time data.
Repositive – Find genomic data relevant to your
work, collaborate on data projects and make your datasets discoverable and
Rock Pamper Scissors – Discover
talented stylists & salons then book online
SwiftShift – Real-time workforce management
ThingThing – Third party keyboard to access and
share your photos, documents, calendar and more
Unlease – Revolutionizing the rental market by
creating a platform for flexible, medium-term sublets.
Unmanned Systems – World=E2=80=99s first and only
Drone-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform
Applications are currently open for pre-seed investment and will close on January 31st.