London-based Blossom Capital, the record-breaking European venture capital firm led by premier investor Ophelia Brown, is today announcing Cultivate, an angel investment programme that will bring together Europe’s next-generation of ambitious founders with established unicorn pioneers such as Des Traynor (Intercom), Guillaume Pousaz (Checkout.com), Nilan Peiris (Transferwise) and Shakil Khan (Spotify).
Cultivate is a first-of-its-kind angel programme in Europe. It aims to kickstart an angel ecosystem in Europe and to bring it to the same level that exists in the Valley, where successful startups trigger a virtuous cycle as alumni leave to build the next generation of unicorns, backed by experienced operators.
Over the next 12 months, Cultivate aims to invest approximately €4.6 million into 20 industry-defining startups from across Europe, focused at the seed and pre-seed stage. Each startup will get an equal investment of €230K. Beyond the capital, each founder who receives investment via Cultivate will be given unprecedented access to individual angel members throughout the year to gain insight, ask advice and learn from their lessons.
A total of 30 members will form Cultivate’s network, all founders or executives from successful unicorns, either founded in Europe or with European HQ. At launch, members include Des Traynor, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Intercom, Guillaume Pousaz, CEO and founder of Checkout.com, Nilan Peiris VP Growth at Transferwise and Shakil Khan, an early investor in Spotify. Additional angels are expected to join in the coming months.
“Europe’s tech ecosystem continues to thrive and is home to some of the greatest, most ambitious, most courageous founders in the world,” said Ophelia Brown. “We set up Cultivate with the aim of giving these founders as much access to capital and experience in Europe as they need to scale. Our ambition is to democratise this access and continue to help tech founders punch well above their weight on a global scale. Even in these uncertain times, there are visionaries in Europe doing groundbreaking, fundamental work and this is not the time to be scaling back on innovation. Some of the best ideas and opportunities come in times of crisis and dislocation.”
The angels can refer founders to apply and will be mentoring successful teams in their first 12 months. As the investments are non-exclusive, members are also welcome at any stage to invest personal capital alongside Cultivate’s investment, as well as introduce founders to funds.
Blossom Capital, founded in 2017 by former Index Ventures and LocalGlobe VC Ophelia Brown, has a track record of investments in many of Europe’s fastest-growing and most innovative tech firms, from payments unicorn Checkout.com, to travel visionary Duffel, to cybersecurity platform Tines. Blossom has rapidly become the first choice for European founders building with global ambitions, combining on the ground expertise focused at the early-stage with close ties to the leading US later-stage funds enabling founders to have access to the best growth investors.