It’s always been a little puzzle why AngelList never really correctly took off in Europe, especially when a few years ago there was such a dearth of funding options for underserved European startups. But the reasons are quite simple when you look at them. For starters, America’s tech industry has exploded over the past decade. Why bother to allocate your resources when your home market is booming, right? Second, the sheer complexity of building such a platform beyond the myriad of European regulatory borders would tend to deter even the most daring players. This is why the market for such a fundraising platform has been more or less wide open for so long. Until now.
Vauban is a new London-based startup that provides venture capital fund managers with the tools to raise funds and invest capital. He has now closed a £ 4.7million or $ 6.3million Post-Seed / Pre-Series A funding round.
Vauban announces that it will now deepen its technological and regulatory infrastructure and open a new office in Luxembourg to strengthen its Europe / EU offer, alongside its headquarters in London. It will thus be able to cover the entire European ecosystem.
The investment cycle was co-led by Pentech and Outward, in addition to 7% Ventures and MJ Hudson. A roster of angel investors also participated, including Nested CEO Matt Robinson; the founder of Grabayo, Will Neale; the founder and CEO of ComplyAdvantage, Charles Delingpole; Partner at Augmentum Fintech Perry Blacher; and Al Giles, of legal services provider Axiom.
Vauban enables VCs and angel investors to raise funds, form angel syndicates, and manage fundraising and investing activities. The platform claims it allows users to set up and deploy funds and SPVs, from multiple global investment jurisdictions, at “a fraction of the usual time and costs”, covering structuring, documents legal, investor integration, banking and reporting.
Vauban says he onboard “at least one new client every day” and current VC users include Anthemis, Passion Capital and Octopus Ventures. In total, he indicates that more than 5,000 LPs use his platform.
Founder and Co-CEO Rémy Astié said: “Our goal is to reduce friction between those who have capital and those who need it to solve humanity’s biggest problems. So we decided to start by rebuilding the infrastructure on digital rails, as it is mission critical to provide a great user experience for everyone in the industry: GPs, LPs and Founders. “
Vauban emerged at a time when there is huge investment activity in European technology. Some 41.8 billion euros were raised across Europe in the first half of 2021, compared to 32.6 billion euros in 2020.
Venture capital firms now manage multiple funds and now often use Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to participate in specific transactions, make secondary investments or create sidecar funds alongside EIS vehicles or their main institutional funds, the whole process becomes more complex, hence the increasing “platformization” of space. Doing all of this on spreadsheets or, equally simple tools, won’t cut it anymore.
Additionally, European angel investors are increasingly professionalizing and syndicating deals to boost trading and deal flow, hence why a dedicated platform is likely to be welcome.
Ulric Musset, Founder and Co-CEO says: “One of the biggest catalysts for creating new startups was the launch of Amazon Web Services in the early 2000s. We believe Vauban will have the same impact as AWS on the startup ecosystem.
Andi Kazeroonian, Investor at Outward VC, commented: “Despite the rapid growth in alternative investments in recent years, the infrastructure on which the industry relies has not changed. The simple act of creating and administering an investment vehicle remains synonymous with long, cumbersome and expensive processes fragmented between several service providers. Vauban’s integrated platform turned the tide by relentlessly focusing on product and user experience, which unsurprisingly led to exceptional organic growth and its emergence as a category leader in Europe.
Craig Anderson, Partner at Pentech added, “We like to invest in leading companies in their category with great ambitions for growth. We believe Vauban is building a modern infrastructure for the alternative asset market that allows users to set up, deploy and manage their funds and SPVs in just a few hours.
Founder and co-CEO Rémy Astié told me during a call: “We are different from AngelList in that we are very international and global by design. The idea is to create a global platform, which means you can raise LPS anywhere in the world, to invest in a business that is anywhere in the world. And yes, we believe this is our main strength, which we are building while keeping international LPs in mind, so that you can raise in multiple currencies.