How many venture capital funds can you name where all three partners have had children while raising funds, have deep connections in Asia as well as Europe and the US, and include actress Anne Hathaway as LP? Not much risk.
But this is a profile swear, a new Seed VC fund launched with £30m ($36m) of cash to support early-stage startups across Europe. Pact targets “mission-oriented” startups in what it calls the “ABC” categories: access (economic inclusion), optimization (personal and professional well-being), and climate. (This is a much more interesting way of dealing with areas of “doing good”, rather than cheating on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, IMHO.) The investment tickets for the agreement will range from around £1m to £1.5m.
In addition to Anne Hathaway (she’s not only an Oscar-winning actress, but also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador), other LPs include Jeff Dean, Head of Artificial Intelligence at Google, and Keith Terry, founding (and former) TechCrunch contributor and former tech entrepreneur in the UK. United States and the United States.
They are joined by investor Anchor Campden Hill Capital; Yiming Wang, former Head of EMEA at Alibaba; Fahd Bey, COO of Naspers; Todd Robert, Retired CEO of T. Rowe Price Global and Partner at Greenspring Associates, and Tilo Bono, CEO of PIABO.
The three partners – Tong JoAnd the Reem Misaleh WindhamAnd the Monique Pham – They were former venture capitalists in other funds. Gu was invested in case (of which Teare was previously a part) and created a data analytics startup in Shanghai from which it emerged. Windham was also an ADV investor and former founder. Pham was part of the founding team of early-stage Fuel Ventures and has launched several social enterprises in Africa and India.
Speaking to Reem Mobsleh Wyndham, she told me they had been raising money for a little over a year (during their pregnancies and first children) but the idea had been “in the works” for about five or six years: “We both joined ADV the same week. And we met Monique the same time.” It’s almost time. What we noticed in the early-stage landscape in the UK were some key things that were missing. There are very few early-stage fund managers who have operational experience and deep overseas operating experience in emerging markets. And that’s something that all three of us bring, in a way. Very courtesy, to the table.”
“We believe that capitalism should be inclusive and can be inclusive while still producing huge results,” she added. “And we really want him to be able to support early-stage companies that are really positively shaping the future. We’ve all built our careers with Northstar as our guide. It’s a value we’ve always embraced, but it’s only at this point that the market is really starting to go for it. It shouldn’t be “There is a trade-off between socially sustainable, environmentally sustainable and commercially sustainable outcomes. You have to consider both. And that’s the value we’ve all come together for.”
Tong Ju told me: “Growing up in China, I witnessed how entrepreneurship and technology enabled a large number of people who used to be below the poverty line to become richer and improve their lives. I built a technology company that enables small, independent brand owners to compete with large companies.” And for me, that was the experience of really driving economic inclusion, but in a technically enabled way.”
“It’s not a huge box,” Windham admitted. However, she said £30m should provide them with enough companies to have the “healthy diversification” needed for the funds’ returns: “We could do 18 to 20 companies, both lead and joint ventures. We’ve thought very carefully about how we can coordinate Our LP base. So the LPS that’s put out is strategic and provides domain expertise and market access, but also provides continuity of capital. The vast majority are looking for access to deal flow. In that sense, that actually increases our firepower to what 30 million later.
On having a Hollywood movie star among the LPs, Windham added: “She’s actually been a friend of mine and a mentor for about 12 years and since then we’ve been friends and shared values. One of her big reasons is childcare, not having it, as the last frontier of gender equality. And that’s something we’ve tested firsthand.” As three female GPs who all have their own children while raising this funding. We’ve had to figure out how to overcome structural headwinds to be able to do both. That’s one of the lessons we hope to share with the ecosystem, and that’s kind of where Anne comes in.”
Charter’s first investment was made in Growth Kitchena London-based company that launches sustainable food brands based on data insights.
Previous investments include Pact Clause team members Acquired by DocuSign. Ali, an electric car subscription service; Perlego, the online learning platform; and Yoco, an African financial technology company.