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Portuguese VC Shilling launches €50M to invest up to €5M in Series A and beyond

Shilling team
Picture credits: Shilling

Portugual-based Shilling, the VC arm of Draycott SCR, has launched the Shilling Opportunity Fund. The €50 million fund will support growth-stage startups with investments of up to €5 million for Series A and beyond. It came from three major national and international institutional investors, over 90% of the fund target was raised at the first close.

Some of the notable investments made by Shilling VC include Reviewpad, Algori, and Cargofive.

Focus on Portuguese startup ecosystem 

Despite the abundance of highly talented teams leading innovative and competitive businesses in the Portuguese startup ecosystem, the country has one of the lowest venture capital investment-to-GDP ratios in Europe, five times lower than the European average. Portugal primarily focuses its VC investment on early-stage startups, leading to a considerable gap in funding for growth stages. 

As pioneers in the Portuguese ecosystem, Shilling has been committed to providing high-potential startups with capital, mentorship, and expertise for sustainable growth and continues to work towards creating an entrepreneurial economy in Portugal.

The Shilling Opportunity Fund bridges this gap by backing these growth-stage companies in their subsequent funding rounds, fueling them for global success.

The team behind Shilling VC

Shilling was founded in 2011 by Hugo Gonçalves Pereira, a top-tier real estate investor and proptech founder; António Casanova, CEO of Unilever FIMA; Diogo da Silveira, Diogo da Silveira, Chair & NED in listed & fund backed European companies, João Coelho Borges, Top tier PE investor and Founding Partner at Draycott; along with experienced executives Juan Alvarez and Pedro Rutkowski.

Later, the team was joined by top entrepreneurs and experienced founders, including Miguel Santo Amaro (co-founder of three of Portugal’s most renowned startups, including Uniplaces and Coverflex), Ricardo Jacinto, Pedro Ramalho Carlos, and Maria Villas-Boas.

Since its debut, Shilling has been committed to fostering an entrepreneurial economy in Portugal, investing in standout successes such as Unbabel, Bizay, Uniplaces, and Best Tables, which TripAdvisor acquired.

Hugo Gonçalves Pereira, Founding Partner of Shilling, said, “Entrepreneurs are the driving force behind impactful societal and economic advancements. As the market recovers from post-pandemic stabilization, our new fund will support growth-stage companies as they scale. With high growth expected from our current portfolio and strong demand for capital to fuel that growth, this fund comes at the right time to support the ecosystem and marks the next step in our mission to build a strong network of successful entrepreneurs.”

Ricardo Jacinto, Managing Partner at Shilling, commented, “Portugal has become favorable among entrepreneurs and tech talent due to its competitive pricing and robust initiatives to boost startup creation and growth. Shilling has played a part in fostering this community, and now we want to go further and do more to support founders at home and abroad.  The Shilling Opportunity Fund will empower scaleups across Europe to have a global impact.”

Raphael Allstadt, co-founder and CEO at tl;dv, added, “Shilling has been instrumental in our growth journey. Its ecosystem of partners, founders, investors, and advisors has always been willing to share their expertise and network, factors that have been key to tl;dv’s success. Drawing from the real-world insights of founders with expertise in fundraising, scaling, and exits, Shilling backs you for growth.”

Norberto Guimarães, co-founder and CEO at Talka.ai, added, “Shilling is unavoidable in the Portuguese early-stage startup scene. They quickly supported Talka, plugging me into the community after my journey of 12 years in the Bay Area. Friendly and approachable, they’re always eager to help.”

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