Northzone wrapped up its biggest fund yet, one of the largest in Europe this year, and promoted two of its investors to general partners.
The London firm closed its oversubscribed Northzone IX fund with $500 million in commitments. The fund launched in May and surpassed its €450 million ($495.5 million) target. The fund received commitments from new and existing LPs.
Northzone’s eighth vehicle closed in 2016 and was oversubscribed at €350 million.
The firm focuses on investing in early-stage startups from Europe or the Eastern U.S. Northzone invests from seed-stage to Series B rounds, with Series A being their sweet spot, said Paul Murphy, a general partner at the firm.
The fund will continue the firm’s strategy of investing in startups within large industries that still use antiquated technology.
“The overarching theme is that everything is possible for digital transformation,” Murphy said. “In some ways our job gets harder. We have to look at construction, healthcare, mobility. At the same time, there are more opportunities than ever.”
Some other sectors they look at are financial services and education. Murphy said that insurance and insurtech could be included in that mix in the future.
“There are new sectors that are becoming a focus for us,” Murphy said. “We never would have never talked about construction 10 years ago.”
In June, Northzone co-led a $25 million Series A round for Norway-based Spacemaker, an AI construction software company. Atomico also co-led the round.
Spacemaker was the first of three investments the firm has made out of the fund so far.
Later in June, the firm led a $8 million Series A round for New York-based Livepeer, which offers a decentralized platform for video encoding.
This fall, Northzone led a $60 million financing round into London-based Pollen, which is an invite-only social marketplace.
In tandem with its latest fund, the firm promoted Murphy and Jessica Schultz to general partners from partners. Murphy said that the promotions won’t impact their daily roles, but are testament to the commitment the two former startup founders have to the firm.
“We are a team of entrepreneurs,” said Murphy, a co-founder of mobile app game Dots. “Over half of the investment team have started their own company. We love spending time with founders.”
Northzone was founded in Norway in 1996. The firm has invested in more than 130 companies since inception and has more than $1 billion in assets under management.
Northzone isn’t the only firm in Europe to close a fund recently. EQT Ventures, another investor with Nordic roots, announced the close of its second vehicle last week. The fund raised €660 million ($27 million).
In addition, seed-focused Angular Ventures, which has an office in London, raised an inaugural $41 million fund to invest in early-stage, deep-tech enterprise companies based in Europe and Israel.
Also, Balderton Capital in London is raising a new $400 million fund to back European-founded tech companies.