Finnish VC firm Lifeline Ventures closes $163M fund for early-stage startups

Mission capital (VC) company Lifeline Ventures these days introduced a contemporary €150 million ($163 million) fund geared toward early-stage startups throughout Finland.

Based in 2009, Helsinki-based Lifeline Ventures has invested in round 115 firms to this point, with greater than a dozen exits to its title together with activity-tracking app Strikes, which Fb got again in 2014; meals supply corporate Wolt, which DoorDash snapped up in a $8.1 billion all-stock deal two years in the past; and gaming massive Supercell, which Tencent doled out $8.6 billion for a majority stake in 2016. Lifeline Ventures has additionally sponsored unicorns comparable to open supply endeavor infrastructure corporate Aiven, which hit a valuation of $3 billion remaining 12 months.

Lifeline Ventures generally invests on the “angel” and seed-stage, with some follow-on investments within the Sequence A realm. Whilst “angel” in most cases refers to rich folks making an investment with their very own money, on this example the corporate implies that it every so often backs firms at a super-early level, sooner than they have got the rest significant to turn from a product standpoint. Such investments have integrated combined truth headset maker Varjo and sensible ring maker Oura, which just lately claimed a valuation of $2.55 billion.

“We invested in Oura ‘pre-PowerPoint’ — which means we’ve been there sooner than a real product was once ever made,” Lifeline Ventures founding spouse Timo Ahopelto informed TechCrunch.

With its new fund, the corporate says it is going to glance to invest starting from anyplace between €150,000 and €2 million. And while nearly all of its investments (95%, TechCrunch is knowledgeable) are geared toward home Finnish startups, it’s been identified to take stakes in firms hailing from in different places, together with Germany, France, the U.Ok., and U.S. when invited to take action. 

Lifeline Ventures’ founding companions Petteri Koponen and Timo Ahopelto Symbol Credit: Lifeline Ventures

Sowing seeds

Whilst VC investment has normally declined throughout all phases, information suggests that earlier-stage investment has been a bit extra resilient. Indubitably, we’ve noticed a spate of clean early-stage budget rising in Europe of overdue prior to now few months on my own. For instance, London’s Playfair Capital closed a $70 million pre-seed fund, whilst France’s Logo and Ovni Capital each and every introduced new €50 million ($54 million) budget. Somewhere else, the U.Ok’s Amadeus Capital Companions partnered with Austria’s Apex Ventures for a €80 million ($87 million) fund focused at early-stage deep tech startups.

“The early level is probably the most recession-proof industry, each for founders and buyers, as you’re prone to at all times develop quicker than markets can pass down,” Ahopelto stated.

Lifeline Ventures’ newest fund represents its 5th to this point, with its inaugural €29 million fund final in 2012, adopted through fund two in 2014 which amounted to €17 million; a €57 million fund 3 in 2016; and a €130 million fund 3 years later. Whilst so much has took place on this planet since 2019, Ahopelto says that it’s just about industry as same old from an funding standpoint.

“Not anything has truly modified for us in the case of funding technique — we’re nonetheless the primary buyers in lots of circumstances,” he stated. “We’re nonetheless seeing a whole lot of startups being based, in Finland in particular. The ecosystem in Finland is in its early days and can develop two-to-three instances in the case of high quality and measurement throughout the following 5 to 10 years. There’s room for that kind of enlargement in Finland.”

Lifeline Ventures’ most up-to-date funding was once in Beginning through Ocean, an Espoo-based startup running to rid the oceans of destructive algae through reworking it into useful items spanning meals, cosmetics, textiles, and extra. And that is one house particularly that Ahopelto reckons will proceed to thrive within the years forward.

“We really feel that local weather startups will lift their heads much more as time passes,” he stated. “In a similar fashion, we can see extra local weather budget making an investment within the sphere.”