Finnish VC Icebreaker launches second fund to continue backing ‘pre-founders’ and pre-seed startups

Icebreaker.vc, the Finnish venture capital firm that backs “pre-founders” and pre-seed to seed-stage startups, has launched a second fund, with a first close of €50 million.

That’s already significantly larger than Icebreaker’s first fund (which closed at €20 million) and reflects the VC’s geographical expansion. In addition to Finland, where Icebreaker claims to be the most active institutional investor by number of deals, the firm is also active in Sweden and Estonia .

In an email exchange, Icebreaker co-founder and Partner Riku Seppälä told me that despite the coronavirus crisis, most of the firm’s LPs from Fund I have invested in this second fund, along with several new LP. “It’s great to see them take the same view as we are; things must go on and this is a great time to start building and investing in pre-seed-stage technology companies in Europe,” he says.

Seppälä also shared some of Icebreaker’s progress to date. He says that via “Fund I” the VC has invested in 38 companies over the last 3 years, which he believes means it has done the most pre-seed investments of any fund in Finland over that time period.

It typically invests between €150k and €800k in teams that have “deep domain expertise” and are building globally competitive tech companies.

“Within these 3 years and 3 months, we’ve invested €5.8 million in initial investments [with the remainder being deployed in later rounds] and the companies have managed to raise €28 million in total in private follow-on equity funding from investors in 21 rounds”.

Breaking this down further, Seppälä says that so far Icebreaker has a 65% success rate for companies being able to raise seed rounds. “90% of those within 18 months from our initial investment,” he tells me.

Examples of Icebreaker startups that have raised further funding include Hoxhunt (€2.5 million led by Dawn Capital), Kodit.io (backed by Speedinvest, Adevinta, FJ Labs and All Iron), Klaus (€1.7 million led by Creandum), Flowhaven (€4.75 million led by GFC), and Aibidia (€4.2 million led by GFC).