Leading European investment firms share a common focus on extraordinary European entrepreneurs building companies with global potential
Firestartr, the London-based software and internet seed investment platform and Open Ocean, the Series A and B software venture firm originating in Helsinki responsible for the billion-dollar exit of MySQL, have today announced a partnership.
The collaboration coincides with the announcement of a new €100m fund focused on the Series A and B from Open Ocean to accelerate the growth of Europe’s most successful software companies. The fund will focus on data-led, fast-growth sectors such as enterprise SaaS, market networks, cloud infrastructure, big data/machine learning and mobile. Open Ocean’s portfolio includes companies such as Truecaller and London-based Import.io, Loopme and TapDaq.
Firestartr, which invests at all stages of seed including pre-product, is an early and active investor in emerging software companies such as Yoyo Wallet, Adbrain, ClusterHQ, Cloud66, Urban Massage and Tray.io. Firestartr’s focus areas include next generation marketplaces; the on-demand economy; ad tech; digital media; fintech; blockchain/bitcoin; cloud infrastructure and devops.
Both Firestartr and Open Ocean have as their purpose to seek and support extraordinary entrepreneurs in building disruptive, category-defining businesses and delivering global success. Firestartr’s focus is at the seed stage, Open Ocean’s is at the Series A and B.
Richard Muirhead is joining Open Ocean as a general partner to recruit and lead the new London office’s team. As the co-founder of Firestartr, he serves as Chairman and Managing Partner and will continue to lead the Firestartr team’s activities.
Firestartr and Open Ocean will share their extensive industry networks in the UK and Europe to unlock and execute on investment opportunities in the most disruptive and innovative software companies. Firestartr has nurtured a dynamic community of software entrepreneurs and thought leaders by hosting and sponsoring a series of high profile events, ranging from the quarterly Spark Series evenings to curated dinner salons around issues as diverse as customer-insight and blockchain. Open Ocean in turn brings an extensive network across the Nordics, with a particular focus on open-source communities, alongside experience in investing in and scaling disruptive software companies.
Tom Henriksson, general partner at Open Ocean and responsible for venture community relations, comments, “Open Ocean is a classic early stage venture firm, built in the Silicon Valley mold and with a focus on Series A and B. Firestartr’s mission from day one has been to seek and secure partnerships with the finest entrepreneurs at the pre-seed and seed stage and help propel them to a Series A financing where that is the companies’ chosen path. There is a great fit.”
Axel Wehr, Principal at Firestartr, comments, “We are excited to work more closely and share our knowledge base with Open Ocean. Open Ocean’s first-hand experience starting, scaling and investing in successful software businesses like MySQL and Truecaller is highly relevant and valuable as we pursue our common vision of cultivating the leading pan-European network of expertise around software innovation.”