With its unique human-centric approach to VC, London firm BACKED has just raised a €150 million fund, split between a €75M second fund and a brand new €75M encore fund. Already holding a big influence in web3, gaming and biotech spaces, BACKED will double down in these three verticals.
‘BACKED Core 2’ continues to invest in seed-stage startups and ‘BACKED Encore 1’ is dedicated to follow-on investments in later-stage rounds of existing portfolio companies.
Launched in 2016 by Alex Brunicki and Andre de Haes, the team now comprises 10 people and 60 venture scouts. To date, they’ve gathered a portfolio with an aggregate value of a staggering €10.7 billion – with three investments already reaching unicorn status (Thought Machine, Sky Mavis and Immutable X).
Alex Brunicki, Partner at BACKED, commented: “We’ve pushed ourselves to be an entrepreneurial fund. We’ve not always got it right, but we iterate, listen and test at pace. I’d say we’ve made it to our Series A. I couldn’t be more excited about where we stand today and what lies ahead: we’re developing a deeper edge in frontier markets like Biotech and Crypto; we’re bringing nascent communities together – such as Coin-Op – in a meaningful way, and we’ve built an exceptional team to support founders at scale.”
BACKED is a VC firm with a difference. The company operates with a human-centric ethos, wanting to support its portfolio in ways that go beyond the financials. BACKED runs an 18-month founder support programme that is offered to all early-stage founding teams. The programme contains 24 features across startup fundamentals with a special emphasis on people-related factors, including situational leadership training, culture and values workshops, hiring support via an in-house recruiter, access to mental health services and an in-house executive coach for founders and leadership teams.
Managing Partner Andre de Haes, explained: “We believe in the human-factor: as a seed founder, you are your company’s most valuable asset. It’s the reason we take bets on genius even when faced with huge technical and market uncertainty. It’s also why we focus our offering on supporting entrepreneurs to scale as leaders – personal growth and company growth are directly correlated.”
Further, the firm like to knit together a strong community amongst its portfolio clients. To this end, they host events during the year.
Andre de Haes continued: “From day zero our dream has been to build a community, not just a fund. Today there are more funds than ever in Europe, but still very few communities uniting the most talented founders through deep friendships anchored on mutual support, a shared hunger for self-development and truly bold ambitions. Getting BACKED is about belonging.”
Europe’s startup scene is undeniably accelerating at super-speeds at the moment. 2022 has already seen an incredible number of unicorns, soonicorns, and innovative early-stage startups getting off to flying starts.
BACKED’s fresh funds will certainly go a long way to continue nurturing the growing ecosystem – it’s a firm with proven success, and the human-centric support makes a difference.
BACKED’s investors include five major institutions both publicly-listed firms such as Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (through their Sienna Capital vehicle) and private firms such as Wilshire Associates, alongside 20 leading venture-focused family offices and over 20 entrepreneurs, including several from Backed’s own portfolio.