European Tech Investor Plural, Led by its Founder, has Raised a New €400 million Fund

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The company provides start-ups with a Silicon Valley model of support as an alternative to the conventional VC paradigm.

In an attempt to support the next wave of entrepreneurs in the region during a period when funding is in decline, Plural, a tech investment business managed by some of Europe’s most well-known start-up founders, has raised €400 million. The UK AI safety tsar Ian Hogarth and Wise’s Taavet Hinrikus, among others, launched the London and Tallinn-based firm, which specializes in early-stage companies—a market that has seen a less dramatic decline in investment than later-stage agreements.

“We think there was a chance those difficult problems could be solved faster and we could build significant companies more quickly in Europe if we worked with a smaller, more concentrated portfolio and had former founders doing that [instead of] career investors,” stated Hogarth.

He was aware, too, that focusing could make it more difficult to identify the most qualified candidates for funding. Hogarth stated, “At the moment, I’m really interested in the concept of biodefense: how to create the infrastructure to get ready for the next pandemic.” “There aren’t really that many founders working in that field.”

The funding follows the discovery in a report by venture firm Atomico that last year saw over half of all investments in European start-ups drop to $45 billion from 2022. As interest rates have increased and growth has slowed across much of the tech industry, many of the companies that sign those checks have also been having trouble obtaining support for their own capital.

According to the November Atomico report, compared to 2% in 2021, 20% of limited partners investing in European venture funds expressed reduced inclination to support that asset class.

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