Kindred Capital wraps up inaugural seed fund


London-based venture firm Kindred Capital has closed its debut seed fund at 80 million pounds (about $110 million). Kindred focuses on European tech companies. The firm gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to co-own the fund that invested in their business.

PRESS RELEASE

LONDON: Wednesday 28th February 2018

Launched in 2015, equitable venture firm Kindred Capital offers exceptional seed-stage entrepreneurs the opportunity to co-own the fund that invested in their business. Today, the VC firm announced that it has closed its first seed fund of £80m.

A new model of venture capital

Kindred Capital is based on equitable venture, a model that is completely unique in Europe – every backed entrepreneur becomes a co-owner of the fund that invested in them. After money has been returned to investors, 20% of the fund’s profits is shared out among founders.

This means all Kindred-backed founders are aligned with each other, economically incentivised to nurture and grow each other’s companies and the Kindred Capital ecosystem.

You can read more about how equitable venture works here.

The portfolio

Kindred Capital has backed companies like FiveAI, the firm building the software layer for autonomous vehicles. Based in Bristol and Cambridge, it is headed up by serial tech entrepreneur Stan Boland. Supported by the UK government, it will test drive its vehicles on London’s roads within 18 months.

Kindred Capital’s first fund also includes Paddle, which revolutionises how hundreds of software firms sell their products. Founded by Christian Owens when he was just 18 (and on his third business), in the last three years, the company’s revenues have grown by 3,000%.

Other portfolio companies include the now-international freelancer platform Kalo, will-writing disruptor Farewill and research platform Qriously, which conducts surveys via mobile apps, to help its clients understand the mindsets of over a billion people in realtime.

Founder VCs

Kindred Capital’s four partners, Leila Zegna, Tracy Doree, Mark Evans and Russell Buckley, are all entrepreneurs and investors in their own right, making the firm a real exception in the European venture space.

Yale and Harvard-educated Leila Zegna was part of the founding team of GenapSys, raising $50m for the genomics firm.
Oxford-educated and formerly at MMC Ventures, Tracy Doree was co-founder and CEO of e-commerce brand LLUSTRE, exiting in 2012.
Mark Evans has a 20 year history of early stage investing, including companies such as Natural Motion, MySQL, OakNorth, Headspace, The Hut Group, Yoox and Betfair.
Russell Buckley is a serial chairman and angel investor and was part of the founding team of AdMob, which sold to Google for $750m in 2010.

Commenting on the closing of Kindred Capital’s £80m fund, Partner Russell Buckley says:

“We’re delighted to have closed our first fund of £80m, which was our ambitious target from the start. This will allow us to make a substantial impact on the seed stage ecosystem in the UK. We will invest in around 35 companies in total, keeping 70% of the fund for future follow on rounds in our portfolio companies, to ensure they have adequate funds in the vital early years.

While it’s early days, our Equitable Venture and founder-centric approach seems to be paying off, with many of our first investments going on to raise further funding at significantly higher valuations from the likes of First Round Capital, Venrock, Spark, and Notion.”

Stan Boland, CEO and Founder of FiveAI, which is a Kindred Capital portfolio company, says:

“When deciding which investor we wanted to work with, we were looking for a real partnership with a company that shared our conviction and offered real support on our entrepreneurial journey. We’re really pleased that we chose Kindred, not least because their equitable venture model means that we’re surrounded by an army of other founders incentivised to help us win.”

Catherine Lewis La Torre, Chief Executive of British Business Investments, which is a major investor in the fund, adds:

“As the commercial arm of the British Business Bank, we support financial innovation and diversity in debt and equity markets. Kindred’s innovative fund model provides just that and we’re delighted to support their first seed fund. Our investment in this new vehicle means that more start-ups will be able to access the equity funding they need to grow and succeed.”

About Kindred Capital

Kindred Capital is an £80m seed and early stage venture capital investor, focusing on European technology companies. Based in London, Kindred invests in entrepreneurs building globally ambitious businesses. Kindred’s portfolio includes Kalo, Paddle, Five.ai, Qriously and Farewill. The Partners’ previous investments includes Betfair (FTSE: BET), , NaturalMotion (Zynga), Depop, Headspace, Appear Here, LoopMe, The Hut Group and Yoox Net-a-Porter (BIT: YNAP). Kindred’s Equitable Venture model has led to 45 founders who co-own carry in the fund.