Element Ventures, one of Europe’s leading B2B fintech-focused venture capital firms, has launched a USD130 million fund to invest in the founders building tomorrow’s financial enterprise technology businesses.
Founded by Steve Gibson and Michael McFadgen, with more than 30 years of combined experience in the space between them, and joined by Spencer Lake, HSBC’s former Vice Chairman of Global Banking and Markets. Element Ventures is also backed by an LP base and network consisting of more than 30 world-class founders and executives from across the financial sector.
The financial technology opportunity is substantial. European fintech companies have already raised USD12.3bn in 2021 yet the space is often complex, opaque, difficult to access and highly competitive. Element Venture’s fund is specifically tuned to the needs of the B2B fintech industry; a fund that truly understands the journey, the landscape, potential, and challenges that characterise the opportunity globally. Element Ventures was created to support this new generation of entrepreneurs rising to the challenge.
The investors in the fund total more than 30 founders and financial leaders including Lord Spencer, founder of ICAP/NEX Group; Laurent Useldinger, founder of ULlink; Cris Conde, former CEO of SunGard; Marc Murphy, founder of Fenergo; Hamilton Matthews, former CEO Acuris, Pierre Naude, co-founder of nCino; Neil Eckert, founder of Brit Insurance, Brendan Woods, founder of Autoentry; David Rutter, founder of R3; Christian Nentwich, founder of Duco and Anna Ewing, former Nasdaq CIO. Isomer Capital, the leading European venture investor is also participating in the fund and will join the LP advisory board. This group provides an unparalleled entrepreneurial network of experience, connectivity, expertise and credibility, to create a unique financial technology venture platform. For entrepreneurs navigating the complex and highly regulated world of finance, access to this platform is critical, and Element’s significant point of difference.
Element is focused on a high conviction investment strategy, investing in a small number of companies every year to ensure it can provide full support to its portfolio companies. In total, it will number around 15 portfolio companies in areas including banking-as-a-service, payments, insurtech, asset management and infrastructure. To date, it has backed B2B fintech firms across the UK and Europe including Hepster, the embedded insurance platform; Billhop, the B2B payment network; Coincover, cryptocurrency recovery service; and Minna, the subscription management platform which has partnerships with Lloyds Banking Group, Swedbank and ING. Whilst the investments so far have been in Europe, Element has a global mandate.
Steve Gibson, Partner at Element Ventures, says: “When we created Element Ventures we believed that a sector-focused, founder-focused venture platform was what Europe’s B2B fintech entrepreneurs needed. This has been validated by both founders and LPs. We’ve been able to build a platform for fintech founders, backed by fintech founders, that will help to scale transformative businesses in the industry.”
Michael McFadgen, Partner at Element Ventures, says: “B2B fintech is one of the most exciting opportunities in the tech industry, with incumbents facing huge challenges to digitise and talented entrepreneurs ready to compete. We’ve already backed some incredible businesses and we’re looking forward to discovering the next-generation entrepreneurs that are rising to this challenge.”
Spencer Lake, Partner at Element Ventures, says: “At Element, we’re connecting founders with the capital and expertise they need to build the financial enterprise technology of tomorrow, giving the entrepreneurs access to this brilliant platform. We understand the journey these companies need to navigate to be successful. There is so much potential for change in this industry and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
Joakim Sjöblom, CEO and co-founder at Minna Technologies, says: “Open Banking has been a game changer for financial services, empowering fintechs like Minna to create the products that consumers are crying out for. Connecting to banks and building relationships can be extremely difficult which is why we were delighted to bring Element on as an investor for our Series B due to their substantial knowledge and deep connections right across the industry. With Element’s help, we’re ensuring that more banks can benefit from Minna’s subscription management solutions to reduce their operational cost and bring financial health to their retail customers.”
Christian Range, CEO and co-founder at Hepster, says: “When raising our Series A we wanted an international investor who understood how to scale businesses strategically. After meeting the team at Element, we knew that they were the partner for us to take Hepster to the next level and help us expand successfully across Europe. The superb advice and support they’ve given us so far has been invaluable and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”