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European Ecosystem - who should I follow

Let’s deep dive into the list below featuring some of the most recommended VC and angel investors from the European community!

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When making the first steps into startup investments, sorting through all the available information and resources isn't easy.

We know it. Everyone’s been there at some point.

With thousands of blogs, news media platforms, and countless social media accounts of European founders, investors, and leaders to follow, it’s hard to decide which source is best because all the pieces of information out there seem new. We want you to have a smooth transition, and learn from the best resources available, so we have prepared a series of articles going through a curated list of recommendations feeding information to the most skilled investors on our network. We’ll be covering VC and angel investors to follow, podcasts, VC blogs, news outlets, and more on our blog, so make sure to bookmark it for future updates.

Let’s deep dive into the list below featuring some of the most recommended VC and angel investors from the European community!

European VC Investors

It’s been a constant buzz around the startup ecosystem that faced steady growth in the past years and keeps a positive trend even in 2022. With UiPath’s record IPO happening last year, more and more unicorns are rising, especially from countries with no startups in the international spotlight. Here we have Payhawk, who recently became Bulgaria's first unicorn.

These success stories started creating a network effect within the European ecosystem and are an essential element in the continuous growth. However, beyond the news headlines featuring these successful and pretty stories, it’s important to take a look behind the curtain and see who are the investment leaders in the VC area that had a significant contribution to this historical movement.

European Male VC Investors

Jan Hammer - General Partner Index Ventures

For his active investments, Forbes has been featuring Jan as the number 1 tech investor in Europe in the past two years. Fast-growing startups, such as Transferwise, or Robinhood, which was later acquired by Transferwise as well, and recently on the most friendly form building platform, Typeform.

Through his impressive track record and recent activity at Index Ventures, Jan also co-invested together with other leading VC funds, such as Atomico, 500 startups, Sussex Place Ventures, and Point Nine Capital in startups, such as Cutover, Rohlik, or projects like Startup Wise Guys.

Follow or connect with Jan on: Linkedin / Twitter

Klaus Hommels - Founder & Chairman of Lakestar

Similar to Jan, Klaus Hommels has been a constant presence in Forbes’s top list of European tech investors in 2021 and is known as one of the leading venture capitalists to follow for his impressive activity and portfolio. Klaus is a constant supporter of digital transformation and has been an active investor in successful startup stories such as Airbnb, or king.com, which later got acquired by Activision Blizzard, who later became part of Microsoft.

Through his venture capital firm, Lakestar, he also joined co-investors such as Accel, Cherry Ventures, Mantis Venture Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Follow or connect with Klaus on: Linkedin / Twitter

Saul Klein - Co-founder and Partner at LocalGlobe

An ex-General Manager of Index Ventures, Saul Klein has an interesting background, leading the original executing team at Skype, and investing in different successful companies. His portfolio at the VC firm he co-founded currently counts eight IPOs, and several other successful investments, such as Improbable, Melio, and Skype.

Alongside its team at LocalGlobe, Saul also partners up with Sequoia Capital, Discovery Ventures, Serena, or Visionaries Club, and a few others for co-investments.

Follow or connect with Saul on: Linkedin / Twitter

Carlos Eduardo Espinal - Managing Partner at Seedcamp

Carlos’s activity was recently recognized by Forbes, featuring him in the top list of European tech investors of 2021, alongside Jan and Klaus, and alongside the co-founder of Seedcamp, Reshma Sohoni. He has a technical background, previously working as an engineer for the Advanced Communications Technologies group of The New York Stock Exchange (SIAC) and as a consultant.

Carlos works closely with the founders from Seedcamp’s portfolio, from helping them resolve internal conflicts to raising funds and achieving new stages of growth.

Follow or connect with Carlos on: Linkedin / Twitter

Philippe Botteri - Partner at Accel

Philippe invested in many recent startups that either achieved unicorn status or had a successful IPO. We recognize UiPath, an investment he processed on behalf of his VC firm, in 2020.

Among the startups from its portfolio at Accel, we also see Docusign, Algolia, Melio, Snkyk, and others, and he also is on the board at Fiverr. Philippe’s focus is on cloud/SaaS startups, and at the same time, he keeps an eye also on security and enterprise IT.

Follow or connect with Philippe on: Linkedin / Twitter

European Female VC Investors

Luciana Lixandru - Partner at Sequoia Capital

Luciana became one of the most popular female investors in Europe after announcing her departure from Accel and taking the lead of Sequoia’s first European office.

Additionally, she was among the first investors who placed her bets on UiPath, when they were having a difficult time raising the first round of investment. Besides UiPath, she also leads the investments on Deliveroo, Hopin, and several others. Luciana's excellent presentation story published on Sequoia's blog shares more highlights from her backstory.

Follow or connect with Luciana on: Linkedin / Twitter

Reshma Sohoni - Co-founder & Managing Partner at Seedcamp

Reshma co-founded Seedcamp more than back in 2007 and has worked with Carlos Espinal since 2009. Through their activity at Seedcamp, they backed multiple companies, such as Revolt, Transferwise, or UiPath.

Reshma loves people and numbers, which can be seen through his historical experience, working at the intersection between business and technology, and working closely with her team at Seecamp.

Follow or connect with Reshma on: Linkedin / Twitter

Inka Mero - Founder & Managing Partner at Voima Ventures

Inka is one of the people who established Voima Ventures as a deeptech venture capital fund and actively invests in pre-seed and seed-stage startups from Nordic and Baltic countries in Europe.

Before founding her VC firm, she was an active investor and advisor for over 10 years in multiple corporations. She worked close to 15 years in operational processes as CEO or VP of Sales.

Follow or connect with Inka on: Linkedin / Twitter

Marie Ekeland - founder of 2050

Marie founded her venture capital firms, such as Daphni Capital or 2050, and was a successful, well-known entrepreneur in France. She describes this investment fund as a new venture capital company based on the platform economy. After a few months, the investment fundraised 150 million euros from investors such as Fnac Darty, Nokia, and Société Générale.

In November 2020, Marie launched 2050 as a new investment fund and is 100% owned by a sustainability fund. This investment vehicle aims to support innovation projects in five sectors: agri-food, health, education, housing and transport, and tools for financial autonomy.

Follow or connect with Marie on: Linkedin

Ewa Chronowska - Partner at Next Road Ventures

Ewa is a very active venture capital investor that led several funds, founded Vestbee - the biggest online matchmaking platform in Central & Eastern Europe, and is now a Partner at Next Road Ventures, a VC fund from Poland.

Ewa also founded and runs as President CEEBAN - The CEE Business Angel Network through which she wants to build cross-border bridges between the investors and entrepreneurs in the region.

Follow or connect with Ewa on: Linkedin / Twitter

European Angel Investors

Europe has a growing VC ecosystem and is gaining more attention from international ones looking to expand their activity across borders. However, at the same, there are many business angels and individuals who support startups' success.

If looking for a venture capital investor is easier because they have more exposure through the fund, angel investors somehow have a hidden profile. If you are becoming an angel investor, you can decide to take a look first at some of the angel networks and angel clubs active in Europe, through which you can connect with other fellow investors.

European Male Angel Investors

Xaviel Niel - Founder of Kima Ventures

Xavier is one of the most famous investors in France as he brought the first Internet service provider. He recently transformed an old railway depot into an active ecosystem opening the gates of Station F - the world’s largest startup campus in Paris.

Through the new house of incubation at Station F, Xaviel wants to welcome more than 1000 startups, and through Kima Ventures, he invests 150K one-off tickets each year in 100 new deals, regardless of their stage, sector, or deal size. The portfolio of Kima Ventures already includes thousands of successful stories, including names like Transferwise, Carta, PayFit, and many others.

Follow or connect with Xavier on: Linkedin / Twitter

Taavet Hinrikus - Founder of Wise (formerly TransferWise)

Taavet Hinrikus is the co-founder of Transferwise, actual Wise, one of Estonia's most successful fintech stories. He decided to step down as CEO and turn his attention towards investments, where he had already backed more than one hundred startups in the past 10+ years.

His portfolio includes several success stories, including three unicorns in Improbable, Bolt, and Carta.

Follow or connect with Taavet on Linkedin / Twitter

Milen Ivanov - Managing Partner at Sofia Angels Ventures

Milen is a serial entrepreneur that turned out to become an angel investor and a VC manager. He has been a director for Bulgaria of the pre-seed accelerator Founders Institute for 5 years. He is also a co-founder & chairman of the largest angel network in Bulgaria – CEO Angels Club.

Currently, Milen is a Managing Partner at Sofia Angels Ventures - a seed co-investment fund backed up by EIF that invests alongside angels, family offices, corporates, and other private investors throughout Europe.

Follow or connect with Milen on: Linkedin

Apostolos Apostolakis - Partner at Venture Friends

Apostolos is an entrepreneur turned investor and one of the most well-known angel investors in the Hellenic startup's ecosystem. He started his career at Boston Consulting Group, where he spent 2 years before joining the startup world. On his entrepreneurial path, he has co-founded an e-shop.gr, e-food, Doctoranytime and was also a key investor and member of the board at Beat until the sale of the company to Daimler.

Since 2010 he has invested and supported many startups focusing on consumer software and marketplaces.

Follow or connect with Taavet on: Linkedin / Twitter

Gregoire Vigroux - angel investor and founder of bonapp.eco

Gregoire is a well-known investor in the Romanian startup ecosystem, where he launched and invested in 20+ companies.

At the same time, starting in 2019, he co-founded and runs the local chapter of La French Tech - France’s startup movement, powered by its ecosystem and bolstered by its government.

Follow or connect with Gregoire on: Linkedin / Twitter

European Female Angel Investors

Helena Torras - Managing Partner at Paocapital

Helena is the Founder and Managing Partner at Paocapital and a well-known serial entrepreneur in the Spanish startup ecosystem. She actively contributed to several startups, either as a member of the founding team or as part of established operations in the US, UK & Spain.

Her passion for tech startups led her to invest as an angel investor in more than a dozen, and she has also been Board Director/Advisory Board in some promising startups.

Follow or connect with Helena on: Linkedin / Twitter

Fausta Pavesio - Investor and Venture Partner at Startup Wise Guys

Fausta is an investor with vast experience in breakthrough ventures, and she has been nominated by EU startups as one of the most influential women in startups and VCs from Europe.

Fausta has a deep understanding of the power of a new tech approach and is fascinated by leading technologies and their applications in business environments, “Connecting the dots” in new ideas, an enthusiast in pioneering game-changing solutions and new business models.

Follow or connect with Helena on: Linkedin

Ebi Atawodi - VP of Product at Netflix

Ebi is currently leading EMEA payment in Netflix's Product team efforts and previously led Uber in West Africa as General Manager.

Ebi is an angel investor keen on infrastructure (connectivity, transport), well-being & health, fintech, sustainability, and education.

Follow or connect with Helena on: Linkedin / Twitter

Roxanne Varza - Manager at Station F

We previously met Station F through Xaviel, and right now, we come back to take a look at its Director, as Roxanne was recognized as one of the most influential women in the French startup ecosystem.

Roxanne previously led Microsoft’s global startup activities, including Bizspark and Microsoft Ventures, and she was also one of the founders and senior editors for TechCrunch France. She’s an active angel investor, and some of the companies from her portfolio are Claap, Resilience, Biloba, folk, and others.

Follow or connect with Roxanne on: Linkedin / Twitter

Annukka Mickelsson - Chair of FiBAN

Annukka is an active angel investor in the Finnish startup ecosystem and the Chair of the FiBAN angel investors group. She has long experience in team leading and board work. She is one of the experts who saw a need for a local ecosystem during a financial crisis and where brainpower met capital to build new growth opportunities.

Follow or connect with Annukka on: Linkedin

By Patricia Borlovan

PublishedMarch 21, 2022


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