As we approach the one year anniversary of our first LP commitments on March 19th, we have been reflecting on this incredible year. We hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter.
Our Humaans Investment Story
European venture is changing before our eyes. Founders are scaling faster right out of the gate, and the investment pace is breathtaking. What once took months is now taking weeks and financings are being done in a matter of days. Our Humaans’ first cheque is a case in point.
Humaans, which speeds up staff onboarding and management, is HR for the 21st century. While we were the first money in, co-founders Giovanni Luperti and Karolis Narkevicius were already in growth mode as they founded the company in April 2020. They had launched the product and the customer signup speed was impressive. With two people, a product, customers and revenue, this was a scaling round. Here is what happened:
Jonas Bøgh Larsen, co-founder of Pento, an automated payroll company that reduces time-spent on running payroll to around two minutes per month, had introduced us to Humaans. Pento is also part of the Moonfire portfolio, and references from other founders that we rate highly mean a lot.
In our second meeting, Giovanni outlined appropriate terms. By our fourth, we issued a SAFE note. Everything was set, and then Humaans got into Y Combinator only days later. We told Giovanni he had to accept it, and were happy to change the terms.
Humaans closed a pre-Seed funding round with excellent co-investors. The team, which still consisted of just two people, continued executing and signing up more and more customers. Investors kept knocking on their door. We got term sheet after term sheet with the price going up. Giovanni did not need the money, but he thought that introducing the right investors could be game-changing. The calibre, network and ability to quickly close a financing made it all the more interesting for him.
Giovanni was executing by day and closing the financing by night. He worked around the clock, handling things like he had done this a thousand times before. Nerves of steel, grit, focus and a constant smile made this look like light work from our side.
Eventually, Humaans announced its $5m Seed round. We were very proud to bring on board Lachy Groom, Frontline Ventures, LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner, Stripe's Claire Hughes Johnson, Figma's Dylan Field, Intercom's Des Traynor, Workday's David Clarke, Benchmark's Scott Belsky, Notion's Akshay Kothari, Qubit's Emre Baran, Evervault's Shane Curran and Stripe's Gerardo Di Giacomo.
Read more about Humaans here.
MergeFriends Has Launched, So We Topped Up Our Investment Into Skunkworks
MergeFriends is a mobile game where players merge, trade and help to rebuild an almost-forgotten community. The company is growing fast, so we decided to increase our commitment to Skunkworks in order to unlock the growth. Fast growing gaming companies face working capital challenges, as revenue is locked up for a long period of time with Apple or Google for instance. At the same time, debt solutions to finance the growth are scarce, ambiguous and expensive, which is why raising money via equity rounds offers benefits.
Here is a taster of the game:
But to get a proper experience, play it yourself and support the growth of the company!
At $31bn, Klarna is Europe's most valuable startup. Its scaling took time but, like all good things, success is compounding. My relationship with Klarna started nine years ago when we invested into the firm at Atomico. It was an untraditional transaction and I love driving those.
It was clear that Klarna was a rising star in Sweden, but not everybody was looking at the obvious. Sebastian Siemiatkowski was not raising, so I started hunting for secondary and found a large willing seller who needed liquidity. As with all investments, it was a team effort and Niklas Zennström’s support, intuition and reputation made the deal possible.
Sebastian is somebody who does not give up easily, thrives with a challenge and has the confidence to really bet on himself. In Europe, people often fear failure but he makes it a critical asset and part of the culture at Klarna. His vision to drive transformation in this trillion dollar financial industry means this is only the beginning.
Doubling Down on Data and Technology at Moonfire
Read why we want to go further and do more than our competitors to become a truly data-driven venture capital firm.
Moonfire Zoom Series
We’re back with the Moonfire Zoom Series this Friday March 19th, with growth marketer, strategist and VC Matt Lerner.
Matt spent most of his career building and running marketing teams in SF and at PayPal. After moving to London, he became a VC and developed and led 500 Startups’ "Distro Dojo” growth accelerator, which helped 35 startups achieve an average YoY growth of 250%.
Check out Matt’s “Finding Product/Market Fit Workshop” to learn how you can ask the right questions to understand the problem / needs to come up with a solution.
Thanks for reading, I hope you have enjoyed catching up on our latest news and stay tuned for more to come.