Venture capital fund Headline has been investing in tech startups since — get this — 1999, which might tempt headline writers, perhaps unfairly, to apply the word “dinosaur,” if the fund hadn’t continued to remain so active since then. Suffice it to say, it’s been plenty busy since that “cretaceous era,” with 11 $1 billion+ IPOs and exits in the past two years and investments in such unicorns as Bumble, Sonos and Farfetch, to name just three.
The headline for this story might well be a whopping-sounding $950 million/€932 million, but in fact, the numbers are a little more conventional when you look at how that cash is being deployed.
The seed investment teams for Headline invest “autonomously” across three separate funds spread across four regions: Europe, the U.S., Latin America and Asia.
The three distinct early-stage funds split up like this: Headline’s U.S. management team, headquartered in San Francisco, CA, have closed “Headline US VII,” a $408 million North America-focused fund.
At the same time, the Headline Brazilian management team has closed “Headline Brazil III,” a R$915 million Latin America-focused fund based out of Sao Paulo.
Lastly, Headline’s EU management team, headquartered in Berlin, Germany has raised “Headline EU VII,” a €320 million pan-Europe-focused fund.
But when their portfolio companies require that extra power at the growth stage, those separate funds then band together, as well as using — it claims — “a single Headline culture, technology and investment philosophy.”
The firm says it uses an in-house built AI sourcing system, dubbed EVA, which filters its pipeline of deals, plus an in-house business analytics platform, dubbed ATHENA. Then again, all VCs have these kinds of platforms these days, so this is nothing special.
Now, that European fund figure is much more “par for the course” in terms of funds these days, and it’s notable that the Latin America-focused fund is a great deal larger, possibly indicating the significant opportunity that exists in that region.
In a statement, Mathias Schilling, co-founder and managing partner of Headline U.S., said: “Despite the recent market shifts, we continue to aggressively pursue the next wave of world-changing innovation. I’ve witnessed my fair share of market downturns over the past 20 years, and through these times, we’ve continued to seek out and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit with a focus on the long term. We believe Headline is uniquely positioned with our teams on the ground and a measured, methodical approach to investment that relies on our homegrown technology.”
Christian Leybold, co-founder and managing partner of Headline EU added: “Our early-stage focus enables us to closely work alongside the best and brightest entrepreneurs with a leader mindset to nurture their growth and accelerate market adoption. We have built a strong multi-local portfolio of European up-and-comers by following a guiding principle, ‘work as a team and with great people,’ and we will continue to follow this North Star with our latest fund.”
The Headline funds will invest from $1.5 million up to $15 million into startups starting from the early stage.
Other unicorns inside the Headline portfolio include Gopuff, Sorare, Raisin DS, Swile and Staffbase, as well as an early-stage portfolio of over 200 investments.