Frontline Ventures, an early-stage VC firm with offices in Dublin and London, has closed a new €60 million fund — capital it will deploy by investing in B2B software companies at the pre-seed and seed stages. Those investments will range from €200,000 to €3 million, while, despite its Irish roots, Frontline now targets companies right across Europe.
“The pace at which software companies are redefining industries is accelerating,” said Frontline Partner Will Prendergast in a statement. “Our first fund has shown us that some of the world’s most ambitious founders are right here. With this Fund II, Frontline is positioned to be the investment partner of choice for ambitious software entrepreneurs building out from Europe to the U.S.”.
The “Europe to U.S.” quote is in reference to Frontline’s positioning as a VC that invests in European B2B software startups, both at the “application or infrastructure layer,” who have the potential to successfully cross the pond into North America. Frontline Ventures’ Head of Platform Kim Pham wrote a ‘playbook’ on Europe to U.S. expansion, quite literally.
Back in 2013, Frontline raised its first fund of €50 million and has invested in 27 software companies across Europe. Exits include Logentries, acquired by Boston-based Rapid7, and Orchestrate.io, acquired by CenturyLink.
Other notable portfolio companies are Qstream (total funds raised $22 million), Dublin-based money transfer company CurrencyFair (total funds raised $25 million), and London-based StreetTeam (which raised $10 million in October 2016).
Asked what has changed since Frontline first appeared on the scene 5 years ago, Prendergast said the pace at which European B2B startups can penetrate the U.S. has sped up dramatically.
“We have been tracking what we call ‘Time to U.S. market entry’ for B2B companies coming out of Europe,” he says. “This is both in terms of time for a founder to relocate there and time for more than 50 per cent of sales to be from the U.S., which is the biggest market for most B2B software companies. This time has contracted aggressively since we set up Frontline and now we expect both to be achieved within 12-18 months of the company being founded.”
Meanwhile, LPs in Frontline Fund II include The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Enterprise Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, The European Investment Fund, and a number of unnamed pension funds and family offices.