La Famiglia, a 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 (which is €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, so-called “Industry 4.0”, as well as other new technology areas.
The firm currently has over 70 startups in its portfolio, including Deel (a payroll and HR platform, most recently pegged at a $12 billion valuation); Personio (HR management software); Forto (digital freight forwarding); 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 €35 million seed fund. The second €60 million seed fund came in 2019.
The fund aims to invest up to €5 million in largely B2B startups. Zurich-based quality management platform Ethon.ai is the first investment from Fund 3.
Family offices behind brand names such as Valentino, Adidas, Swarovski, Hapag Lloyd, and Estée Lauder are LPs in Fund 3. Famiglia is also newly backed by entrepreneurs such as Ilkka Paananen (Supercell), Ross Mason (Mulesoft), and portfolio founders Qasar Younis (Applied Intuition), Hanno Renner (Personio), and Michael Wax (Forto).
It’s perhaps unsurprising that La Famiglia can reach LPs other VCs may find it difficult to reach. The family of Founding Partner, Dr. Jeannette zu Fürstenberg, owns the measuring technology company Krohne Messtechnik (annual revenues over $780 million), which puts them into fairly rarified circles in European high society. However, it must be said that Fürstenberg is a long-time investor herself, having backed AMAZE an an Angel (a shopping app for smartphones geared towards fashion bloggers) as well as worked more generally in tech businesses.
Fürstenberg told me over an interview: “I think we got lucky [with the fund raise] because we had really good performance figures for fund one. Fund one and two, were a lot harder [to raise] by comparison. And fund three just gave us a lot of performance, and kind of spoke for itself. Fundraising is always a lot of work, but I think it was just the easiest fundraise by far, in comparison.”
The team is also co-led by general partner Judith Dada, who previously ran Facebook’s VC Initiative, and earlier managed Amazon Europe’s marketing strategy.
Had they seen any problems fundraising given the issues surrounding today’s macro-economic environment? Dada responded: “It’s a conversation that we have continuously had… But I think overall, given that we’re investing in B2B technology companies, we see the issues in the market hitting us less hard, potentially, than other funds.”
“There’s still a lot of uncertainty but overall, just looking at the kind of fundamentals of the types of companies we invest in, maybe Europe won’t be home to the next Facebook or the next Amazon, but we will be home to the next Siemens or the next Mersk,” she commented.
Fürstenberg added that the downturn in tech stocks and layoffs had “actually been good for the ecosystem. We’re seeing a lot of great talent flow back into the market. So it’s getting easier to hire great people. And I think from a deal-flow perspective, the signal-to-noise ratio has gotten so much better. Plus, the quality of founders we’ve spoken to over the last three or four months is better too.”
Perhaps appropriate for International Women’s Day, La Famiglia’s senior investment team now comprises 60% women (50% of the total team) and 60% individuals with a migration background (30% of the total team).
SAP Hybris-founder and enterprise expert Carsten Thoma also joins La Famiglia as an advisor.