Yet another fund for European firms as Mangrove plays hand

19 Jul 2017

A lovely lil’ mangrove forest. Image: Oliver Osvald/Shutterstock

Armed with a new fund worth $170m, Mangrove Capital Partners is on the lookout for early-stage start-ups in Europe.

Venture capital (VC) funds range from the low millions right up to the multiple billions, with the room in between filled by a growing number of operators.

One such player is Mangrove Capital Partners, which this week revealed a new $170m fund aimed at businesses across Europe and Israel.

Future Human

According to TechCrunch, the fund was completed inside two months, with the vast majority of investors returning from previous rounds.

“We like to take big bets very early and support our best portfolio companies through multiple rounds of financing to build material stakes,” said Mark Tluszcz, co-founder and CEO of Mangrove.

“We prefer to invest in unproven or unusual technologies rather than chase the latest fad.”

Europe and Israel have been areas of focus for a growing number of VCs in 2017.

Earlier this year, for example, VC firm 83North closed a $250m fund to invest in the regions. This is the fourth such fund raised in 11 years at the organisation, bringing total capital under management to $800m.

Laurel Bowden, a London-based partner of the group, previously said: “It’s very encouraging for the European market to see such huge ambition to build global, category-leading companies.

“Since we started investing in Europe in 2008, we have expanded our focus from primarily UK-headquartered start-ups to invest across the region, and have now backed companies from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden.”

Global investment

Elsewhere, an oversubscribed funding call by Draper Esprit recently saw £100m (€115m) raised by the VC firm to invest in “forward-thinking and innovative businesses” in the British Isles.

This, added to a separate £60m (€69m) fund, means Draper is ready to make a move on UK and Irish companies, despite political uncertainty.

“We invest in forward-thinking and innovative businesses, and firmly believe that the best entrepreneurs in Europe are capable of building world-leading technology companies when provided with patient, long-term growth capital, access to global networks, and support from an experienced investment team,” said Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit, at the time.

Looking globally, action has been even more visible.

Trend Micro, for example, has its own shiny new $100m fund. The company is on the hunt for “a portfolio of start-ups that are developing ideas and living at the epicentre of hyper-growth markets”.

Trend Micro hopes the funding, as well as access to its 28,000 partners, will be an attractive proposition for start-ups. Being attractive is key as, despite there being an abundance of start-ups to choose from, there are more than enough rival investors doing the rounds.

Meanwhile, Intel, IBM and Pfizer recently revealed plans to invest $300m in women-led businesses over the next three years.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic