London-based BACKED VC, a human-centric venture capital fund, has announced a €150 million fund. This fund is split into two €75 million funds. One of these, the latest fund ‘BACKED Core 2’ will continue this legacy by investing in seed-stage startups. On the other hand, the other fund, ‘BACKED Encore 1’ will focus on follow-on investments in later-stage rounds of existing portfolio companies.
Latest BACKED fund
BACKED’s investors include five major institutions including both publicly-listed firms such as Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (through their Sienna Capital vehicle) and private firms such as Wilshire Associates. Also, it includes 20 leading venture-focused family offices and over 20 entrepreneurs, including several from its own portfolio. Notably, 80% of BACKED’s recent funding came from existing investors.
Alex Brunicki, Partner at BACKED, commented, “We’ve pushed ourselves to be an entrepreneurial fund. We’ve not always got it right, but we iterate, listen and test at pace. I’d say we’ve made it to our Series A. I couldn’t be more excited about where we stand today and what lies ahead: we’re developing deeper edge in frontier markets like Biotech and Crypto; we’re bringing nascent communities together – such as Coin-Op – in a meaningful way; and we’ve built an exceptional team to support founders at scale.”
Portfolio of companies!
BACKED was founded in 2016 by partners Andre de Haes and Alex Brunicki, The fund has grown to a team of 10 and has a portfolio that consists of 67 companies with an aggregate value of €10.7 billion. The fund invests in companies across sectors including biotech, entertainment, financial services, and more.
Notably, its portfolio comprises three unicorns, including SkyMavis, Thought Machine, and Immutable X. Also, four of its portfolio companies have exited and one of them is Hutch Games, acquired by MTG in November 2020. Others notable names in its portfolio include Pollen, LabGenius, THIS, and more.
Paul Taylor, CEO & founder, Though Machine, said, “We are delighted to have BACKED behind us as we continue to move the world’s leading banks into the cloud. They have been with me since Thought Machine’s seed round and have proven to be an invaluable strategic partner on our journey.”
Jack O’meara, CEO & Co-Founder, Ochre-Bio, said, “I can say with confidence that BACKED are the most engaged and intentionally supportive investors we have. Beyond Alex and Andre – who are brilliant – they have a thoughtful and savvy team willing to support us on a range of functions — from PR to recruiting to culture.”
What do founders get?
BACKED provides founders with an extensive support system to catalyse their development. It helps entrepreneurs across all areas from talent management to business development, fundraising and international expansion.
Currently, BACKED comprises 10 people, 60 venture scouts, an 18-month proprietary founder support programme, and over 30 brand-hosted events annually. Also, BACKED is one of the earliest firms to launch a Venture Scout programme in Europe. To date, four investments have been made via their network of Venture Scouts, including cellular agriculture startup Hoxton Farms and Black beauty brand Afrocenchix.
Furthermore, BACKED runs a proprietary 18-month founder support programme, which is offered to all early-stage founding teams. It contains 24 features across startup fundamentals with a special emphasis on people-related factors, including situational leadership training, culture and values workshops, hiring support via an in-house recruiter, access to mental health services and an in-house executive coach for founders and leadership teams.
Through its extensive founder support platform and active portfolio community, BACKED has helped over 110 entrepreneurs successfully scale more than 60 companies in Europe.
Speaking on BACKED’s human-centric approach, Managing Partner Andre de Haes, said “We believe in the human factor, as a seed founder, you are your company’s most valuable asset. It’s the reason we take bets on genius even when faced with huge technical and market uncertainty. It’s also why we focus our offering on supporting entrepreneurs to scale as leaders – personal growth and company growth are directly correlated.”