Lisbon-based Indico Capital Partners launches €46 million VC fund to invest in early-stage startups

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Lisbon-based Indico Capital Partners VC I has recently completed its first closing of €41 million, out of a total of €46 million in commitments from investors from eight different countries. The fund aims to invest in and nurture the most promising early stage startups on the Iberian peninsula, in particular those based in Portugal.

It is the first sizable independent and private early stage tech fund based in Lisbon, one of Europe’s up-and-coming tech hubs. The fund will target startups in the verticals of B2B SaaS, AI, fintech, and cybersecurity in Portugal and Spain.

The firms partners bring together a wealth of experience in investment and expertise in the local market. Managing General Partner, Stephan Morais was the former head of the corporate VC Caixa Capital, General Partner Ricardo Torgal was also a former Caixa Capital senior investor, and Venture Partner Cristina Fonseca was the co-founder of Talkdesk. Past investments of the team include Farfetch, Unbabel, Codacy and many other success stories originating from Portugal over the past six years. The Indico partners have an extensive global network of major Series A and above investment funds that are key for subsequent financing rounds, as well as a group of global experts and advisors that aim to help the portfolio companies reach their goals.

In this first closing of €41 million of the commited €46 million, the European Investment Fund, the primary investor in Indico, was joined by over 20 other institutional and individual investors such as the IFD (Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento) through the Portugal Tech facility, Draper Esprit, pension funds, education and research institutions, wealth managers, high net worth individuals and many local and international tech entrepreneurs.

The fund plans to invest between €150k and €5 million per portfolio company over their lifetime – pre-seed to Series A, plus follow-up rounds. Indico’s first investments have already been made, and will be announced soon.

Stephan Morais, Managing General Partner, said: “This is a milestone for the Portuguese ecosystem, we will keep on supporting the most promising Portuguese, and increasingly Iberian, early stage tech startups, but now with an independent stable investment platform backed by a diversified global LP base.” Ricardo Torgal, General Partner added that “VC is not hype, it’s about building a balanced portfolio and being there for the companies to help them grow to the next stage.”

Cristina Fonseca, Venture Partner, commented: “I have been backing many companies over the past few years as an angel investor and mentor, so it was an obvious decision to join the best investment team in the market with a solid track record. Early stage tech is where my heart is and this is a local nurturing activity before it becomes globally investable and scalable.”

European Comission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen added: “I welcome this new Venture Capital Fund supported by the Investment Plan. It will give Portuguese start-ups the financing they need to turn their ideas into concrete projects, grow, and create jobs. Portugal is the third biggest beneficiary of the Investment Plan, with already almost 12,000 businesses set to have improved access to finance thanks to the European Fund for Strategic Investments.”

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