Photo: Plural's founders, clockwise from left - Ian Hogarth, Khaled Helioui, Taavet Hinrikus and Sten Tamkivi.
Estonian startup entrepreneurs Taavet Hinrikus and Sten Tamkivi, together with Ian Hogarth and Khaled Heloui, co-founded a new pan-European investment platform, Plural, with a €250 million early-stage venture fund to back the next generation of founders with global ambitions.
The platform was set up by Ian Hogarth, the British co-founder of live music startup Songkick that was later sold to Warner Music Group, Khaled Heloui, a French-Armenian angel investor and one of the early backers of Uber, Deliveroo and Bolt Payments, Sten Tamkivi, a former Estonian executive at Skype and a co-founder of Teleport, and Taavet Hinrikus, an Estonian co-founder of Wise.
They founded Plural because across Europe they saw that most investors lacked experience in building tech businesses, the fund said in a statement. “In Europe, just 8% of investors are former operators, in contrast to more than half of tech investors in the US. Plural’s founders believe that the scar tissue from building tech companies is invaluable in helping the next generation of founders to build companies with global potential.”
Plural’s intention is to be a more hands-on investor, with a focus on leading early-stage rounds between €1 million and €10 million. “We are the investors we would have liked to have when we were building our own companies. Founding a company is a craft and the best way to learn that craft is to work alongside those who have done it before,” Taavet Hinrikus said in a statement.
“We call experienced founders ‘unemployables’, because once you’ve experienced the intense authorship that comes with creating something new it’s hard to work for anyone again. We created Plural to give unemployables a place to call home and put their entrepreneurial energy behind missions and founders they deeply believe in,” Ian Hogarth added.
According to Sten Tamkivi, the fund’s founders are “huge optimists for the potential of technology coming from Europe which can benefit the whole world, as well as improve the lives of people across the continent.”
As Plural, the founders have already invested in 14 companies.
Image credit: Plural; https://unsplash.com/@chrislawton