Berlin-based Fly Ventures has raised 53 million euros for its second fund. The fund’s limited partners include European Investment Fund, KfW Capital and Axa Venture Partners. Fly Ventures focuses on deep tech startups across Europe.
Berlin and London, 18 June, 2020: Fly Ventures has today announced the follow-up to its successful debut fund as the VC doubles down on uncovering Europe’s next-generation of industry-defining technologies.
Fresh off the back of two Fund I exits to Facebook, the Berlin-based VC is using the new €53million Fund II to reinforce its commitment to finding the best emerging European startups within enterprise and deep tech. Startups in their infancy that are harnessing the power of digitisation and automation to remake entire industries.
In the enterprise space, investments centre on technologies that empower large corporates to unlock the full potential of digitisation and automation. Most enterprise employees today enjoy productive, modern software in their personal lives but endure outdated, legacy systems at work. These systems slow growth and inflate cost through manual, error-prone, opaque and unrewarding processes. Fly seeks to back startups that close this gap for enterprise clients and believes it is a multi-trillion dollar transition in the making.
In the deep tech space, investments are focused on founders and startups developing novel, advanced technology at the cutting edge of their respective sectors. These technologies are proprietary and specialised, difficult to replicate, and often do not have a clear path to market or proven revenue case at the time of the initial investment. What they do have is enormous potential to remake entire industries. Fly recognises that this potential can only be unlocked through founders with deep expertise and unparalleled knowledge; something Europe has in abundance.
Fly Ventures will use Fund II to make initial investments between €500k and €1.3 million. It takes the total raised by the VC to €88 million since 2017.
Fund I successes
Standout Fund I investments include autonomous driving pioneers Wayve, which went on to raise a $20M Series A led by Eclipse, clinical trials marketplace Inato, which later raised a $14M Series A led by Obvious Ventures, and cybersecurity startup GitGuardian, where Balderton recently led a $12M Series A follow-on round. Both Wayve and Inato demonstrate Fly’s ability to unlock follow-on funding from US VCs.
Two of the 28 Fund I investments already exited. Fly was an early investor in Bloomsbury AI, an AI-startup teaching machines to reason from text, and Scape, a computer vision based positioning service used in augmented reality. Both companies were acquired by Facebook.
The Fly approach
Differentiating Fly Ventures from other players in this space is its team of experienced founders, venture capitalists, developers and former Google software engineers – led by Gabriel Matuschka and Fredrik Bergenlid.
A cross-functional team built to reflect the key needs of a seed stage founder: building and selling.
Fredrik was one of the brains behind the Google Assistant program, while Gabriel opened and led the Berlin office for Partech Ventures before forming Fly in 2016. The team recently welcomed Matt Wichrowski, who joined Fly Ventures from Entrepreneur First in March and is helping to establish Fly Ventures’ position in the UK.
With Fund II, existing members Marie Wennergren, Felix Wolf and David Malinge have been promoted to partner.
“Fly is built with our founders in mind; structured to serve their most pressing needs – building complex, industry-defining technologies and selling it to large clients. Fly delivers on this through its two-team approach, combining the best commercial expertise with leading technical knowledge. A rarity in European venture and one that makes us the best partner for Enterprise and Deep Tech startups in Europe.” says Gabriel Matuschka.
“We have a vast talent pool in Europe with deep expertise and experience. That talent has the potential to remake entire industries and that’s what we want our fund to unlock. Venture is pretty simple: find great people and make hard, risky bets that have huge outcomes. A lot of venture today has lost this ethos. It’s become more reserved with risk taking. We at Fly are going back to the heart of what VC is all about; using our vast expertise in building and selling to uncover, identify, develop and finally make use of the abundance of enterprise and deep tech talent to build super large outcomes for all involved.” Matt Wichrowski adds.
“Fly Ventures represents a rare breed of investor that not only shares our passion for technology and the complex problems we’re trying to solve, but supports us in building and selling our products. They understand our vision, recognize our potential and are willing to take risks because they, like us, understand just how important such technologies are” Eric Fourrier, co-founder at GitGuardian.
LPs in Fund II include European Investment Fund (EIF), KfW Capital and Axa Venture Partners.
About Fly Ventures
Fly Ventures is a Berlin-based VC firm focused on investing in industry-defining enterprise and deep tech seed stage companies across Europe. Fly Ventures has raised two funds totalling €88m and seeks to make investments of €500k to €1.3M in early stage companies. Companies of note within the portfolio include autonomous car company Wayve, clinical trials marketplace Inato and cybersecurity startup GitGuardian. Exited investments include Bloomsbury AI (Facebook) and Scape (Facebook).