If you were a Solo Venture Capitalist — or Solo GP as they have come to be known — during the 2020-2021 boom, you might be in trouble now, especially as valuations from that era have often tanked. However, while the Solo GP model has been around in the US for some years, this model of VC has arrived late enough in Europe for it to become a more viable way forward for many European startups who are finding thin-pickings from multi-partnered VC funds in this bear-ish market.
Taking advantage of this trend, for instance, is Hypernova, a $25 million fund of funds that launched last year aiming at funding Solo GPs in Europe.
The trend is palpable.
Underline Ventures launched in Romania last year, with the well-known ecosystem player Bogdan Iordache at the helm. In the US last year, Nichole Wischoff’s Solo GP firm Wischoff Ventures closed a second fund of $20 million. This year in Asia, AngelList alum Wing Vasiksiri reached an AUM of $14 million, for instance.
The latest to join the Solo GP party in Europe is log-time tech scene player Robin Haak.
He’s launching Robin Capital, which, he says, has now reached a first close of €3 million and is aiming for a €10-20 Euro final close. It will participate in angel, pre-seed, and seed funding rounds.
The former founder of Jobspotting (acquired by SmartRecruiters Inc. out of San Francisco in 2017) was a first-check investor in N26 and has done over 20 other investments, including Frontify, Algolia, and Aircall. Haak was also previously a General Partner with Revaia Growth One.
Robin Capital’s current portfolio consists of inaugural investments in Beam, Kombo, and M2.
Haak told me he has a “network of hundreds of operators who are sourcing and servicing. I also have a value-add Limited Partner base featuring Fabrice Grinda (an early investor in Alibaba), Julian Blessin (Co-Founder of TIER Mobility) and Jerome Ternynck (Founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters).”
Haak describes his fund as having a “focus on outstanding entrepreneurs, software subscription businesses, primarily in Europe, Israel, and the US”. It will be vertical-agnostic, and mainly Pre-Seed to Seed.
“Our investment strategy spans Europe, the US, and Israel, informed by my direct involvement in these regions,” he told me via email.
“I’ve helped build companies like SmartRecruiters in the US, Revaia in France, Jobspotting in Germany, Axel Springer in Israel, and Slush in the Nordics. As we are based in Berlin, it’s anticipated that the DACH region will continue to be a solid foundation for us,” he added.
Solo GPs, if they timed their fund-raise right, can get pretty big.
Last year, Streamlined Ventures, led by Ullas Naik, secured $140 million in new capital commitments for its two newest funds, bringing the total funds managed to eight with the assets under management reaching about $325 million.