Solo GP fund Andrena Ventures hopes to carry startup talent onto its next challenges

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In nan world of startups, it’s not uncommon to spot talent from successful companies spell connected to recovered their ain ventures. This is peculiarly evident successful fintech successful Europe, wherever alumni from unicorns for illustration Monzo, N26, Revolut and others person started a flurry of caller companies.

Andrena Ventures, a solo GP money based successful nan U.K, wants to support this startup mill snowball effect by investing successful specified second-generation startups astatine nan pre-seed and seed stages. To do so, it has raised $12 cardinal from backers including respective VCs and entrepreneurs.

The firm’s wide partner, Gideon Valkin, told TechCrunch that while he will money talent pinch roots successful European and British fintech, Andrena itself is assemblage agnostic. He expects astir of his portfolio companies to attraction connected different categories for illustration AI, ambiance tech and B2B endeavor solutions.

Andrena has already made its first investment: Nustom, an AI startup founded by Monzo’s co-founder, Jonas Templestein, whom Valkin reported to erstwhile he worked astatine Monzo. Nustom hasn’t publically launched yet (which explains its succinct website), but it already boasts a agelong database of investors including OpenAI, Balaji Srinivasan, Garry Tan, Naval Ravikant and others.

Andrena’s information successful Nustom’s party round reflects nan firm’s thesis and strategy: Most of nan time, it will lend betwixt $100,000 and $400,000 to rounds that will beryllium led by others. However, Valkin hopes that his web will make it easier for founders to raise Series A rounds, perchance from his constricted partners aliases from different investors he’s connected to.

The solo GP approach

By leveraging his web and by penning comparatively mini checks, Valkin hopes to summation entree to basking deals successful which larger costs whitethorn not beryllium capable aliases consenting to participate.

Having a mini money intends that mini investments person nan imaginable to return each of nan invested capital; for a larger firm, specified investments wouldn’t move nan needle aliases beryllium worthy nan risk. Valkin knows that broadside of nan equation: After leaving Monzo, he became an angel investor himself and started moving arsenic a seed investor astatine VC patient Entrée Capital, which is now 1 of Andrena’s constricted partners.

But managing a solo money isn’t without challenges, and not conscionable because nan guidance fees are proportionally smaller. As my workfellow Rebecca Szkutak noted past year, “emerging managers person been connected nan aforesaid roller coaster arsenic startups for nan past fewer years.”

Valkin says he’s taken a important salary cut, but he sees this arsenic a plus: Founders tin spot him arsenic a trusted partner who has arsenic as overmuch astatine stake. “I deliberation that aligns america really nicely,” he said. His worth proposition is to unfastened up his web to founders and thief them raise a Series A round, while besides relying connected his operational know-how.

This operation is much communal successful nan U.S. than successful Europe, wherever galore section VCs person ne'er started a company. But things are changing, and angel investing is progressively communal among European entrepreneurs, particularly in fintech.

One of Andrena’s LPs, Taavet+Sten, is an finance conveyance tally by Wise co-founder, Taavet Hinrikus, and Teleport co-founder, Sten Tamkivi. Both are erstwhile Skype employees, and person now formally launched an early shape task fund, Plural, pinch 2 different partners.

The truth that nan brace chose to backmost Valkin tin beryllium seen arsenic a validating awesome for his thesis. With swarms of early fintech labor looking for their adjacent challenge, nan sanction that Valkin picked for his task is fitting: Andrena is simply a type of bee, and “pollination, successful my mind, is astir apt nan champion affinity for what I do,” he said.