Berlin VC fund La Famiglia raises €250 million for both Seed and Growth B2B startups

by Ana Lopez

La Familiaa Berlin-based VC fund (no, not the Mafia organization, in case there is any confusion) has raised €250 million for its combined third seed fund (that’s €165 million) and its first growth co-investment fund ( €90 million).

The fund has a vertical focus on ML and AI, data, logistics and supply chains, consumerization of B2B, fintech and insurtech, sustainability, the so-called “Industry 4.0”, as well as other emerging technology areas.

The company currently has more than 70 startups in its portfolio, including Deel (a payroll and HR platform, recently pegged at a $12 billion valuation); Personio (HR management software); Forto (digital expedition); as well as Y42 (data operations cloud), Sweep (carbon accounting platform, similar to Watershed in the US) and Buynomics (commercial operating system). To date, the fund has raised more than €350 million since its inception in 2017, when it closed its first seed fund of €35 million. The second start-up fund of €60 million came in 2019.

The fund aims to invest up to €5 million in mainly B2B start-ups. Zurich-based quality management platform Ethon.ai is the first investment of Fund 3.

Family offices behind brand names such as Valentino, Adidas, Swarovski, Hapag Lloyd and Estée Lauder are LPs in Fund 3. Famiglia has also recently been supported by entrepreneurs such as Ilkka Paananen (Supercell), Ross Mason (Mulesoft) and portfolio founders Qasar Younis (applied intuition) , Hanno Renner (Personio) and Michael Wax (Forto).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, La Famiglia can achieve LPs that other VCs may struggle to achieve. Founding Partner’s family, Dr. Jeannette Zu Furstenbergowns the measurement technology company Krohne Messtechnik (annual turnover of more than $780 million), which puts them in quite rare circles in European high society. However, it must be said that Fürstenberg has long been an investor himself supported AMAZE and an angel (a smartphone shopping app aimed at fashion bloggers) and more generally worked in tech companies.

Fürstenberg told me during an interview: “I think we got lucky [with the fund raise] because we had really good performance numbers for fund one. Fund one and two were a lot more difficult [to raise] for comparison. And fund three just gave us a lot and actually spoke for itself. Fundraising is always a lot of work, but I think it was by far the easiest fundraiser in comparison.”

The team is also co-led by the general partner Judith Dadawho previously led Facebook’s VC Initiative and previously managed Amazon Europe’s marketing strategy.

Had they seen difficulties in raising funds given the challenges surrounding the current macroeconomic environment? Dada replied: “It’s a conversation we’ve been having all the time… But I think, given that we invest in B2B tech companies, we generally see the issues in the market hitting us less than other funds .”

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but overall, looking at the kind of fundamentals of the kinds of companies we invest in, Europe might not be home to the next Facebook or the next Amazon, but it will be home to the next Siemens or the next Mersk,’ she remarked.

Fürstenberg added that the downturn in tech stocks and layoffs were “actually good for the ecosystem. We see a lot of great talent coming back to the market. So it’s getting easier and easier to hire great people. And I think from a dealflow perspective, the signal-to-noise ratio has gotten so much better. In addition, the quality of the founders we have spoken to over the past three or four months is also better.”

Perhaps fitting for International Women’s Day, La Famiglia’s senior investment team is now 60% female (50% of the total team) and 60% individuals with a migrant background (30% of the total team).

SAP Hybris founder and enterprise expert Carsten Thomas also joins La Famiglia as an advisor.

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