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Today: May 23, 2024
January 23, 2024
1 min read

Europe’s Tech Giants: Wise and Skype Founders Raise $436M

TLDR:

  • Plural, a venture firm founded by the creators of Wise, Skype, and Songkick, has raised €400 million ($436.4 million) for a new fund called Plural II.
  • Plural II will focus on investing in innovative European tech startups that have not yet been discovered by mainstream funds.
  • The founders of Plural believe that their experience as entrepreneurs gives them an advantage over traditional venture capital firms.

The founders of Wise, Skype, and Songkick have raised €400 million ($436.4 million) for a new fund called Plural II. The fund, set up by venture firm Plural, aims to invest mainly in European tech startups that have not yet been discovered by mainstream funds like Atomico, Balderton Capital, and Creandum. Plural co-founder Taavvet Hinrikus, who was previously involved in Wise, stated that the fund is different from its competitors because it was started by entrepreneurs with “scar tissue.” Hinrikus believes that the experience of being a founder gives Plural a unique perspective and makes them better partners for startups in Europe. According to Hinrikus, only 8% of venture capitalists in Europe are former founders, compared to 60% in the United States. Plural raised the funds from a mix of limited partners, including British and American university endowments, U.S. foundations and insurers, strategic family offices in Europe and the United States.

Plural plans to invest at a pace of two to three investments per investor per year with its new fund. The firm has five partners in total, whom they refer to as the “unemployables” because of their experience as entrepreneurs. Plural has made 27 investments to date, with the largest sectors being AI, frontier technology, and climate and energy. The fund aims to focus on deep tech startups that are solving fundamental scientific problems around energy, AI, and health care. Plural’s goal is to help build technology giants in Europe, identifying winners in emerging categories such as deep tech and clean tech that other funds tend to overlook. The founders of Plural believe that with the rapid pace of technological breakthroughs, new players and emerging players in Europe have the potential to dominate entirely new spaces that didn’t exist a year ago. This fund launch adds to the wave of startup activity that has been happening in Europe over the past decade, with many new companies being founded by former employees of European and Israeli unicorn firms.

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