Richard Branson joins firstminute capital investment fund
firstminute capital has announced the launch of its $100 million third early-stage venture fund, as the network-focused firm continues its mission to become the preeminent European seed franchise and back the next generation of European unicorns.
Founded by Brent Hoberman and Spencer Crawley in 2017, the fund is backed by 130 unicorn founders, and a host of global CEOs. New investors in the latest fund include Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and Cal Henderson, founder of Slack.
“One of our superpowers is leveraging our network to help support our founders - whether it’s for business development or bringing on star LPs to invest alongside us as angels,” said Hoberman.
“Our network means that all the extraordinarily hard work the team does on supporting our portfolio and picking the very best entrepreneurs gets leveraged 10x… it’s part of why founders want to work with us and recommend us to their friends,” he added.
Hoberman is the co-founder of companies including lastminute.com and MADE.com. He is also the co-founder of the accelerator Founders Factory and the tech events company Founders Forum. Spencer Crawley is formerly of Goldman Sachs and DMC Partners.
firstminute now has 130 companies in the portfolio busy changing the world of work (A.Team), the lives of developers (Storyblok, Robocorp, Engflow), self-driving cars (Wayve), gaming (Klang, Clockwork Labs), crypto (Ramp), secure communications (Element) and mortgages (Generation Home), having raised follow on capital from the likes of Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Atomico, Index, Benchmark, Coatue, Softbank, Tiger, General Catalyst, Northzone, Mubadala, NFX, Balderton, D1, Felicis, Bain Capital and Tencent.
As of this year, 25% of the firstminute portfolio is invested in Saas startups, 25% in fintech, 15% in Deeptech, 10% in developer tools and the rest in sectors such as healthcare, gaming and consumer. Out of the 56 companies in Fund I, 17 of them are worth more than $100m which were backed at seed or pre-seed. Recent investments have been largely related to Generative AI, with firstminute backing companies in areas such as LLM tooling and foundational model building.
Sam Endacott, a Partner at firstminute, said: “Whilst the volume of deals and follow-on funding has definitely slowed relative to 2021, the quality of entrepreneurs in Europe has never been better. We are incredibly excited about the potential of Generative AI and backing a number of companies in this category both in terms of enterprise use-cases and unlocking new consumer behaviour.”
Visit firstminute capital to find out more.