AngelList has failed to take off in Europe, despite the fact that there was a lack of financing alternatives for poorly served European businesses several years ago. However, when you look at things, everything becomes quite clear.
First and foremost, the US technology sector flourished over the last ten years. Why put your resources out when your own market is thriving? Second, the magnitude of such a platform’s complexity across Europe’s many regulatory jurisdictions would deter even the most daring organizations. This is why, until now, there has been little competition for such a fund-raising platform. Until now.
Vauban is a startup based in London that offers fund managers with technologies to raise money and invest it. It has just completed a Post-Seed / Pre-Series A funding round of £4.7m or 6.3m, according to its website.
Vauban says it will now expand its technological and regulatory infrastructure as well as establishing a new office in Luxembourg to better serve European / EU clients, alongside its current location in London. As a result, Vauban will be able to embrace the entire European ecosystem.
7 percent Ventures and MJ Hudson were joined by Pentech in leading the round, which also included Outward and 7percent. Other investors include Matt Robinson, founder of Nested; Will Neale, founder of Grabayo; Charles Delingpole, CEO of ComplyAdvantage; Perry Blacher, Partner at Augmentum Fintech; and Al Giles from legal services firm Axiom.
Vauban enables venture capitalists and angel investors to raise money, start angel syndicates, manage fundraising and investment processes. Users are said to be able to set up and launch Funds and SPVs from numerous global investment locations in “significantly less time and cost” compared with previously available solutions.
According to Vauban, it is onboarding “at least one new client every day” and current VC users include Anthemis, Passion Capital, and Octopus Ventures. It claims that more than 5,000 LPs are using its platform in total.
Founder and Co-CEO Rémy Astié said: “Our goal is to reduce the friction between those who have the capital, and those who need it to solve humanity’s biggest problems. So, we decided to start by rebuilding the infrastructure on digital rails, because it’s mission-critical in order to provide a great UX to everyone in the industry: GPs, LPs and Founders.”
Vauban has arrived at a moment of great European tech investment activity. Europe’s first-half fundraising total was €41.8 billion, up from €32.6 billion in 2020.
The process is becoming more complicated, thus the increased ‘platformization’ of the marketplace. The use of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) by VC firms to participate in particular transactions, make secondary investments, or set up ‘sidecar’ funds alongside EIS vehicles or their primary institutional funds has made the whole operation more intricate, therefore necessitating a higher level of platformization. Doing all of this on spreadsheets or similar simple tools will no longer suffice.
Furthermore, angel investors in Europe are increasingly professionalizing and syndicating deals to boost dealmaking and dealflow, which is why a specialized platform may be well-received.
Ulric Musset, Founder and Co-CEO says, “One of the biggest catalysts for new startup creation was the launch of Amazon Web Services in the early 2000s. We believe Vauban will have the same impact that AWS has had on the startup ecosystem.”
Andi Kazeroonian, Investor at Outward VC, commented: “Despite the meteoric growth in alternative investments in recent years, the infrastructure the industry relies on has failed to evolve. Simply creating and administering an investment vehicle remains synonymous with lengthy, cumbersome and expensive processes fragmented across multiple service providers.
Vauban’s integrated platform has turned this on its head with a relentless focus on product and user experience, which has unsurprisingly led to exceptional organic growth and its emergence as the standout category leader in Europe.”
Craig Anderson, Partner at Pentech added: “We like to invest in category-leading companies with big ambitions for growth. We believe Vauban is building a modern infrastructure for the alternate asset market which enables users to set up, deploy and manage their funds and SPVs in just a few hours.”
Founder and Co-CEO Rémy Astié told me over a call: “We are different to AngelList in that we are very international and global by design. The idea is to create a global platform, which means that you can raise from LPS anywhere in the world, to invest in a company that’s anywhere in the world. And yeah, we think that’s our core strength, that we build everything with international LPs in mind, so you can raise in multiple currencies.”