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Failup Ventures announces €50M pre-seed fund for ‘value-driven’ Nordic and US startups

Failup Ventures founders
Picture credits: Failup Ventures

The Nordic region, including Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland, has garnered attention recently for its startup ecosystem, innovative companies, and emphasis on technology and sustainability.

Several Nordic startups have secured investments from European venture capital firms, prompting an influx of funds from VCs seeking to invest in the region.

Failup Ventures, a new pre-seed VC investing in both US and Nordic startups, has now announced the first closing of €30 million for its early-stage fund, aiming for a total of €50 million. Business Finland Venture Capital Oy served as the anchor investor.

Founded by Jesse Heikkilä, Topias Soininen, and Oscar Andersin, Failup Ventures supports early-stage startups with mission-driven teams. Heikkilä and Soininen, known for their startup Playven, a SaaS sports facility management and marketplace company later acquired by Playtomic, have a strong understanding of high-growth startups and finding product-market fit. Andersin, on the other hand, has worked as an Investment Manager at Vencubator, a Helsinki-based startup incubator. Together, the team has built and invested in nearly 40 startups through previous angel investments.

Initial investments typically range from €200K to €1M, with the flexibility for larger follow-up investments. The founders, with previous entrepreneurial experience, have a track record of successful angel investments, including support from investors like A16Z and General Catalyst. Having already backed two SF-based startups and one Finnish company, Failup Ventures actively seeks new early-stage teams aligned with their investment themes.

Diverging from typical Nordic funds, Failup Ventures distinguishes itself by providing peer support, strategic guidance, and network access in Finland, Europe, and the US.

Fund’s early investments

Already, Failup Ventures, the Finnish-American venture capital fund based in New York and Helsinki, has made three investments into early-stage teams from its fund and these are as follows: 

  • Foundernest: The US-based startup uses Generative AI to help innovative corporations improve their market landscaping, exploration, and insights. 
  • Ever: It is an electric vehicle marketplace that makes buying and selling pre-loved EVs more understandable and risk-free.
  • Vested Health: This US-based company wants to transform healthcare from reactive and transactional medical care for a proactive, preventative, and data-informed personalised model. 

“We are thrilled to launch Failup Ventures as the first-ever Finnish VC fund to have its core foothold in the US as well,” said Topias Soininen, co-founder and General Partner at Failup Ventures. “Our global approach and grassroots networks enable us to identify truly promising early-stage teams and support them from the start. Many of our previous investments have received follow-on investments from renowned firms like A16Z, NFX, General Catalyst, and Tiger Global. This is a testimony to our understanding of truly brilliant teams and efforts in grassroots work.”

“We have seen that founders prefer to work with individuals who have firsthand experience in building a company and have faced similar challenges in the past. And that’s exactly what we’ve done before founding Failup,” said Jesse Heikkilä, co-founder and General Partner at Failup Ventures. “We are excited to pave the way for next-generation founders with our fund by next-generation investors, and thrilled to have some of the brightest entrepreneurs backing us as Limited Partners.”

“Our commitment lies in supporting founding teams that are building solutions capable of making a real improvement. We also only want to invest in teams that align with our values. In fact, the very first meeting we had with the Failup team revolved around our values: what we believe in and what kind of world we want to contribute to building”, concluded Oscar Andersin, co-founder and General Partner at Failup Ventures. 

“We were particularly impressed by the team’s high level of ambition and their international approach to investing. The team’s prior experience as startup entrepreneurs and their strong track record in early-stage investments within the fund’s target areas provided a solid foundation for their transition to VCs. Despite a challenging fundraising environment, the team successfully raised the capital required for the fund in a short time”, added Petri Serenius, Investment Director at Business Finland Venture Capital Ltd.

“We are excited to partner up with Failup. The founder journey is a challenging one and joining forces with investors who have been previous founders is just incomparable. Having someone to go to for advice and a team so committed to FounderNest’s success is a unique asset for the short, medium, and long run,” added Felix Herranz, co-founder and CEO of FounderNest.

“We were really happy to bring Failup Ventures on board our journey. Their first-hand experience from building startups and investing across different segments helps them to understand the everyday life of a seed-stage startup. We can always count on them being available and use them as a valuable sounding board,” added Lasse-Mathias Nyberg, co-founder and CEO of Ever.

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