Fly Ventures launches €53m early-stage fund for European tech

18 Jun 2020

The Fly Ventures team. Image: Fly Ventures

Berlin-based venture capital firm Fly Ventures has launched its second early-stage fund to seek out promising start-ups in enterprise and deep tech.

Today (18 June), early-stage seed investor Fly Ventures announced the launch of a new €53m fund aimed at uncovering the next generation of founders in European tech.

The firm’s debut fund was launched in 2017 and this new fund brings the total raised by Fly Ventures for investment to a total of €88m. Fly Ventures is seeking start-ups in their infancy that are harnessing the power of digitisation and automation to transform different industries.

Fly Ventures has previously backed autonomous driving start-up Wayve and cybersecurity firm GitGuardian. The venture capital firm also made early investments in Bloomsbury AI and Scape, both of which were acquired by Facebook.

Plans for the next fund

Berlin-based Fly Ventures said that its plans for the enterprise space will centre on technologies that empower large corporates to digitise and automate. Its team believes that many enterprise employees enjoy productive, modern software in their personal lives, while enduring outdated, legacy systems at work.

“These systems slow growth and inflate cost through manual, error-prone, opaque and unrewarding processes,” the firm said. “Fly seeks to back start-ups that close this gap for enterprise clients and believes it is a multitrillion-dollar transition in the making.”

The firm also has plans to invest in deep tech, focusing on founders and start-ups developing novel, advanced technology. The VC said that these technologies are often proprietary and specialised, as well as difficult to replicate and do not always have a clear path to market.

“What they do have is enormous potential to remake entire industries,” the firm added. “Fly recognises that this potential can only be unlocked through founders with deep expertise and unparalleled knowledge; something Europe has in abundance.”

The Fly Ventures team

Through its second fund, Fly Ventures plans to make initial investments of between €500,000 and €1.3m.

Its founding team is comprised of experienced venture capitalists, developers and engineers. It is led by Gabriel Matuschka, who opened and led the Berlin office for Partech Ventures, and Fredrik Bergenlid, who was formerly on the team behind the Google Assistant programme.

Matt Wichrowski joined Fly Ventures from Entrepreneur First in March 2020, and is now helping establish the VC firm’s position in the UK. With the latest fund, existing members Marie Wennergren, Felix Wolf and David Malinge have been promoted to partner roles.

“Fly is built with our founders in mind,” Matuschka said. “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.”

Wichrowski added: “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.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic