After a short but very intense process during the fall we are happy to announce the closing of Creandum IV. At 180 MEUR the fund was significantly oversubscribed and reached the hard cap in one first and final closing with investors from the Nordic region, Europe, Middle East and North America. This is naturally good news for Creandum but more importantly this is a testament to the expanding and strengthening European tech scene which Creandum are very fortunate and glad to be involved in. Among the fund’s limited partners are pension funds, life insurance companies, university endowments, family offices, tech corporations and VC fund of funds.
VC’s fundraise much more seldom than startups, but once they do it is often a long and complex process. Compared to startups, who often only have a couple of investors coming together, Venture capital funds often have between 20 and 30 so called Limited Partners (LP’s) who must agree on timing, investment amounts, size and terms and conditions. Creandum was fortunate as many of the fund’s investors have been doing VC investments for a long time and several, especially the first corner investors, Skandia and AP6, know Creandum well and have been backing the funds since inception in 2003.
Like a startup that has raised a bigger round of funding, Creandum can now move faster towards its core mission of helping the best entrepreneurs across Europe succeed. Looking into the history, Creandum invests across Europe but with a particular focus on the Nordic region. Since 2003 Creandum and its investment advisors have been working hands-on with some of the North’s best entrepreneurs, and have grown up with the region, which has been home to nearly 10% of the world’s billion dollar exits over the past 10 years. The Nordics are the home turf for many of us in the investment advisory team, but certainly not a geographic limitation moving forward.
With the new fund, the plan is to support another 30-40 outstanding entrepreneur teams the next 4-5 years. To help Creandum do so, we’ve brought on two new great additions to the advisory team who were previously based in Berlin – Simon Schmincke joins us from Venture Capital firm Earlybird, and Bjarke Staun-Olsen joins us from running Vaniday and previously the very successful Fintech company Alipes Capital. These two will not only support the fund’s investments, but will help us keep our eyes open across Europe.
Despite the fact that this is Creandum’s largest early-stage fund yet, we’re not moving away from our core focus of finding the best entrepreneurs as early as possible; the funds strategy is to invest early stage with approximately half the investments in seed and the other half in A and the odd B-round. At this size, the fund can invest up to 20 MEUR in a company over its life cycle. For an entrepreneur, in practical terms this means that from day one you will have a partner that can be a meaningful supporter for the long term. No one should think “we’re too early for Creandum”.
But more than sourcing investments, we work hard to support the fund’s entrepreneurs. One example is our Palo Alto office housing three of our investment advisors, or one third of our advising team. We’re not looking for U.S. investments, but instead we support the companies that are expanding into the North American market, which approximately half the existing portfolio companies have done. We’ve learned from companies like Spotify that the U.S. expansion can be a critical yet tricky step, so we’ve built a network of service providers, corporates, platform partners, and U.S. VCs ready to be tapped into, letting European entrepreneurs hit the ground running in the States. On top of that we shouldn’t forget the fund’s portfolio companies often provide a superb network across San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Boston, New York and Toronto. In addition the the expanded investment advisory team and the US office we have recruited a senior data analyst, William James, from Spotify to help Creandum’s portfolio companies with data science and analytics, as well as Greg Anderson from ArcticStartup to help with PR & Marketing.
Looking forward it’s an exciting time for Creandum and the entrepreneurs our investment advisors get to work with. If you think you have an idea or company that you believe can create or transform an industry, feel free to contact us anytime. Building from our nearly 15 years of firm experience with over 100 startups we strive to be open, honest, and passionate people who strive to add value to every interaction with entrepreneurs – even in the cases where Creandum cannot proceed with an investment.
As a final point we would like to thank the fund’s investors for putting their trust and future pension funds into the hands of Creandum IV. The thing that’s truly fantastic about venture capital is that when done right, it creates new and exciting jobs for those who work and better pensions for those who do not work, all at the same time. It is a big responsibility we do not take lightly.