InReach Ventures, a venture capital (VC) firm that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to discover the most promising European startups, has raised 53 million euros ($60 million) for its biggest fund to date.
The London-based “AI-powered” VC firm was founded in 2015 by Roberto Bonanzinga, John Mesrie (both previously at Balderton Capital) and Ben Smith, former U.K. Engineering Director at Microsoft’s teamworking tool Yammer.
“The fundraising process was unusually short and we were able to attract some of the most well respected LPs in the world. This is again a great validation that we are on the right track but we are also very aware that we have tons of work in front of us” Bonanzinga wrote in a blog spot on the company's website.
InReach ventures has spent three years building its own proprietary software and AI
codenamed “DIG”. The sophisticated tool tracks all manner of data points like a LinkedIn profile or Facebook bio to discover and evaluate early-stage tech startups across Europe’s idiosyncratic and highly fragmented market.
InReach has invested in eight European startups so far: Oberlo (Lithuania), which operates an online marketplace for entrepreneurs (subsequently acquired by Shopify), Soldo (Italy/UK) which offers a multi-user spending account, Tutorful (UK), which provides private tutors for home tuition in any subject, Shapr3D (Hungary) the world's first professional 3D CAD designed for iPad and Apple Pencil, Traitly (Sweden), an AI-powered productivity tool built for support, success, and sales teams Loots (Germany), a digital banking startup, Kontena (Finland) a developer tools maker and Qriously (UK), the “question network” that’s trying to reinvent the mobile ad.
“We will be geographically agnostic and will invest in companies anywhere in Europe, from Helsinki to Barcelona, from Warsaw to Rome. In most cases we will be the first institutional investor with an initial cheque size of between €500K and €2m” Bonanzinga said with regards to the new fund.
The fund is particularly interested in start-ups in consumer internet, software-as-a-service and marketplaces.
Looking back at the last 3 years and speaking about what InReach have been able to achieve among other things Bonanzinga said:
"The biggest achievement of all has been the team that we have been able to build... We all learn from each other. This is an incredible source of energy and is a key component of the firm’s culture. Learning is infectious at InReach: we learn from each other, we learn from our entrepreneurs, we learn from other firms, we learn from our shared experience and we learn from books".
Another notable VC firm that employs an intelligent data-driven approach is Stockholm-based EQT Ventures, which has developed “the Motherbrain” helping with finding the best startups to invest in.