London-based CapitalT, a venture capital firm looking for Europe’s next unicorns, has today announced launching a €40 million fund to invest in early-stage European software tech startups.
Founded by duo Eva de Mol and Janneke Niessen, CapitalT is a seed fund that focuses on software technology startups that solve a real problem, have international potential, and – most importantly for Capital T – have a fantastic team. Driven by CapitalT’s expertise and research on startup teams and their relative success, the venture capital fund has created a unique model to estimate team performance.
CapitalT’s data-driven model of analysis removes bias of what the ideal founding team should look like, and makes sure that all founders, regardless of whether they already have a foot in the door, can be reviewed by the fund. In this way, the facts and the data will be the basis for further collaboration.
“A great idea and plan are of course important, but most of those plans will not come true. Most startups fail and in 60% of cases that is due to the team. It is therefore key to look at the team in a structured and data-driven way. Ultimately it is decisive whether people can cope with change and setbacks. We want to invest in the entrepreneurs who remain focused and flexible, even under stress. That is not only based on intuition, these are factors that we can measure,” says de Mol. “By looking at teams in a data-driven way you augment your gut feel with facts and remove bias from the process,” adds Niessen.
The fund’s founders Eva and Janneke are an entrepreneur and an investor who have been active for years in the technology sector. Eva is a technology investor passionate about building companies that solve real problems, who has had her PhD research and subsequent articles (focusing on startup teams) published in top scientific journals, the Harvard Business Review and Entrepreneur. Janneke is an investor and serial entrepreneur, who started and sold 2 international tech companies, was Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year in 2019, one of the 10 most prominent angel investors in 2018, Most Innovative Leader in 2016 and EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.
A group of eighteen investors have invested in the fund, including 4 unicorn founders and founders of TomTom, Booking and Adyen. 39% of the committed capital comes from female investors, which is quite unique within the venture capital world.
“One of the main reasons why I invest in companies, is the right team. During her promotion at Berkeley, Eva developed a model to evaluate teams, which CapitalT uses to make an estimate of team performance. This way you can discover the right founders at an early stage”, says Kees Koolen, co-founder of Booking.com.
CapitalT has already invested in edtech WizeNoze and HRtech TestGorilla, and will offer the startups that join its portfolio more than just money. In addition to their own experience and expertise, the CapitalT team consists of a number of operating partners who help entrepreneurs on strategic topics and moments, such as data and engineering, product.