General Catalyst and European early-stage fund La Famiglia ‘come together’ to invest in European startups


General Catalyst and European early-stage fund La Famiglia ‘come together’ to invest in European startups -Gudstory

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In a move that will help solidify US-based VCs’ inroads into the European ecosystem, General Catalyst and La Famiglia have announced that they are, in their words, “joining forces”.

La Famiglia founding partner Janet zu Fürstenberg is to become a managing director within General Catalyst’s global partnerships, alongside her La Famiglia GP, Judith Dada, driving a “long-term vision for Europe”.

Fürstenberg has spoken frequently in the past about European resilience and technological sovereignty, no doubt a topic that underpins his investment thesis in areas such as climate, industrial and defence, in addition to traditional software-focused opportunities. will bring.

However, can the partnership really live up to the high aspirations they have outlined?

La Famiglia, an increasingly active seed investor from Berlin, is to become a seed investment arm, and – at least for now – maintain its brand, aligning with General Catalyst, a VC with 20+ year history and An important European investment footprint.

In practice, La Famiglia’s existing fund will do its work, and new investments for La Famiglia will be made as if it were the seed arm of General Catalyst.

The alliance could allow GC to tap into one of Europe’s better-connected seed investment brands, and perhaps most importantly, networking maven Furstenberg, who regularly meets high-level, high-growth founders and investors. Organizes programs.

The question is how seamless will this collaboration be and will it deliver the desired results? The devil lies in the details.

Hemant Taneja, CEO of General Catalyst, said: “We are very excited to welcome the La Famiglia team to the GC family – they share our values ​​and our ambition to make a positive impact in the world. “His capabilities will greatly enhance our ability to help early-stage founders, particularly in Europe.”

During the interview, Taneja said: “The community that Janet and La Familia have convened has a lot of potential energy… We are not some ‘European fund and American fund’ and whatnot. We want to think about our thesis on a global scale… It would be fair to say why don’t we just become one team and bring that capability to Europe more intentionally. Obviously we’ve been in Europe for almost a decade. A lot of the effort was started by them and then, you know, we have a small team in London, but now there’s the La Familia team in mainland Europe, plus our team in London to keep us ‘in Europe for Europe.’ Puts you in a good position to think. ,

He said La Famiglia will maintain its teams in Berlin and Munich while working closely with GC’s London office, which opens in 2021.

Furstenberg, founding partner, La Famiglia, said:

“Given the European economy at this moment, I see an urgent need to really make a difference and impact in the most relevant sectors that offer the most growth potential… Together with the GC, we live out the spirit of ‘radical collaboration’, I believe this is needed to drive sustainable and technologically enabled growth in the European economy.

Expanding on that in the interview he told me it’s not a “merger.”

“It’s ‘joining forces,'” she said. “It’s essentially making sure that we give Europe a firm place on the map and making sure that we don’t lag behind other geographies, namely China in the US. What it would take for us to become or make three of the 10 largest technology companies truly European was always our ambition when we started in 2015. We have always cooperated on deals with General Catalyst.

Therefore, the declaration talks about ‘radical collaboration’ and a desire to create long-term impact. Although the rhetoric sounds promising, translating these ideals into tangible results remains a major challenge.

However, in their favor is the fact that General Catalyst and La Famiglia have had a relationship since 2016, sharing a portfolio of companies including Hellsing, Stripe, Applied Intuition, Maven, and Ramp.


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