Fasanara Capital launches $350m fintech and crypto VC fund as it celebrates its first two unicorn portfolio companies
Fasanara Capital – the London-based asset management and technology platform that has backed two of Europe’s fastest growing fintech unicorns – is today announcing the launch of a $350m VC fund dedicated to finding the next-generation of global fintech and Web3 pioneers.
Fasanara Capital, which has recently been named one of the fastest growing companies of 2022 by the Financial Times, is a tech-enabled hedge fund that identified the opportunity in tech and in lending to fintechs before most other asset managers. Launched in 2011, Fasanara Capital has more than $3.5bn AUM and helps bridge the gap between credit-starved SMEs and European institutional investors looking to support new technologies in ways that are sustainable, scalable and empowered by data. Fasanara’s third venture fund is intended to capitalise on the increasing level of innovation it sees from its vantage point as one of Europe’s leading digital lenders and trader in digital assets, including crypto.
Investment in European fintechs is booming, there were 750 financing deals for European fintech companies in 2021, adding up to nearly €26 billion in investment. Additionally, four out of Europe's top 10 most valuable tech companies in 2021 were fintechs. Meanwhile, Europe's VCs invested a record $2.2 billion into cryptocurrency and DeFi startups in 2021.
Fasanara is perfectly poised to take advantage of this trend, as it is already Europe’s largest lender to fintech platforms, and a large liquidity provider in crypto in its own right. It currently has a portfolio of 29 startups and scaling tech businesses, including: Twig, the Web3 enabled finance solution and marketplace for the circular economy; Scalapay, the Italian Buy Now Pay Later firm; and Grover, Europe’s market leader in technology rentals. The fund manager estimates that across its fintech portfolio, it will see total community volumes of lending reach $45 billion this year, showing the scale of opportunity in the industry currently. Existing investors in Fasanara Capital include one of Europe’s biggest pension fund, the European Investment Fund and some of Europe’s biggest insurance companies.
Industry veterans in both crypto and fintech
What sets Fasanara Capital apart is its performance, track record and scale of operations in both digital lending and digital assets (crypto and DeFi). From an operational standpoint, this means Fasanara Capital can often deploy capital much faster than other VC firms as the fund often already has an existing relationship with the startup. With its track record of lending to and investing in both fintech and crypto sectors, Fasanara Capital is also confident in taking the lead investor role and making bigger equity commitments than generalist venture capital investors.
Fasanara’s approach to equity investment has resulted in several early successes. Having only made its first early-stage equity investments three years ago, two of Fasanara Capital’s current portfolio companies have this month reached unicorn status after closing their most recent, respective funding rounds. ScalaPay, the Italian Buy Now, Pay Later firm led by Simone Mancini which Fasanara invested in at launch in 2019, recently became Italy’s first unicorn after raising a large Series B round. Similarly Fasanara has been heavily involved in the growth of Europe’s market leader in technology rentals, Grover, investing in its Series B and Series C rounds. The German company, which provides electronics including smartphones on subscription plans, is now valued at over $1 billion after its latest funding round.
In three years of venture investing, Fasanara Capital has funded 29 companies at seed to Series A across Europe. It employs 152 people in London, with more than 100 people in its growing tech team.
Francesco Filia, CEO of Fasanara Capital: “The European asset management industry is on the brink of a huge tech-led transformation and Fasanara Capital has been at the forefront of this change, both as a digital lender and trader of alternative assets. Over the past eleven years we have developed a deep understanding of the fintech ecosystem, have financed more than $30bn of digital loans and receivables and have had the opportunity to invest in some of the preeminent digital technology startups in the market. Europe is the natural place for technology innovation and financial services to come together to create companies with huge potential - both for consumers and businesses. Having gained a reputation as the leader in the space, we are now seeing a dealflow of unprecedented quality and we want to capitalise on it. We are excited about opening up our venture capital investment fund to external investors who also see the size of this opportunity and can help amazing founders to build world-beating companies.”