Project A Ventures launched 10 years ago in Berlin when a handful of a ex-Rocket Internet players decided they’d try their own hand at this startup stuff. Since then they’ve done pretty well, investing early in some of the biggest European tech companies, such as Trade Republic, Kry, sennder, WorldRemit, Spryker and Voi.
The VC has now closed its fourth fund at $375 million, the largest to date, which brings the company’s total assets under management to $1 billion.
Investing from pre-seed to Series A, Project A focuses across B2C and B2B including fintech, commerce, enterprise software, data infrastructure, supply chains and climate tech.
Uwe Horstmann, general partner and co-founder of Project A said in a statement:
The closing of our fourth fund is a major milestone in our company history as it marks the 10-year anniversary of Project A successfully supporting founders all over Europe … We are continuing to expand our operational VC model to have our functional experts directly support our portfolio companies in scaling their business and their technology.
He says this “operational VC” model includes more than 140 functional experts who support its portfolio companies.
Project A also announced that it plans to expand its private equity co-investment practice and will invest up to $80 million in private equity deals, at the "growth" end of the market, after it built a portfolio of 11 private equity co-investments.
Regarding the impending economic downturn, I asked Horstmann what the feeling was amongst Project A’s LP backers:
It varies between investors of course, but I'd say most of our investors were expecting this at some point. The big institutional investors from e.g., the U.S. are also somewhat experienced in that — they've been around for quite a while. We share a view that we need to prepare our portfolio for a potential rough time ahead in terms of funding environment, but it's actually a great time to do new investments: The fundamental positive trend in the European ecosystem is intact, and we do investments with a 6-10 year time period in mind anyway.
I also asked what new directions the fund would take: “We'll continue to operate two strategies: (a) early stage venture (pre-seed to Series A) and (b) private equity co-investments. Both strategies are based on the 140+ full-time operational expert team that we run -- which to our knowledge is unique in Europe. While we could have made this fund much larger, we felt this size is the right one for us as it allows us to build an exciting portfolio all over Europe and across different industries and verticals -- all while allowing to invest even more per company,” he said.