The new fund will bring Frontline’s total funds under management to $200m. FrontlineX partners have been executives at Twitter, Google, SurveyMonkey, Airtable and Yammer, and have built a tailored program that ensures a fast and frictionless start in Europe.
Flawed go-to-market strategies and weak local talent networks cost US companies millions of dollars in foregone revenue when they expand into Europe.
March, 5th 2020 – London, Dublin & San Francisco: Frontline Ventures has today announced FrontlineX, which will back growth-stage US B2B companies expanding into Europe.
FrontlineX will invest up to $5 million alongside lead investors in Series B, C or D rounds, and work with portfolio companies to implement tailored strategies for fast and effective European expansion. FrontlineX’s founding team is uniquely positioned to offer such support given their deep operating expertise and extensive networks on both sides of the Atlantic.
Since 2012, Frontline Ventures itself has been an active investor across Europe, investing in early stage B2B SaaS, and helping European founders get to the US. The team has backed a number of successful companies in Seed Funds I and II, and Orchestrate (acquired by CenturyLink). Most recently, Frontline was an early investor in Pointy, which was acquired by Google last month.
Today, the Frontline team is announcing FrontlineX: a growth-stage fund dedicated to helping US growth-stage companies expand into Europe. FrontlineX comes to life as the result of direct transatlantic experience of the Frontline partners at companies such as Google, Twitter, SurveyMonkey, Airtable, and Yammer. In addition, it counts active advisors and LPs in executive roles at dozens of US companies that have successfully navigated the expansion, including Slack, Cloudflare, Dropbox, Stripe, Segment, Looker, Indeed, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Workday.
With offices in London, Dublin, and San Francisco, FrontlineX will be led by partners Stephen McIntyre and Brennan O’Donnell.
Prior to joining Frontline, Stephen setup Twitter’s European headquarters as the Vice President of EMEA and built its EMEA business from $0 to $250m in four and a half years. Before Twitter, Stephen ran a substantial part of Google’s ads business, leading teams of hundreds of people with revenue responsibility in the billions annually.
Brennan joins FrontlineX as a partner in San Francisco, bringing 20 years of experience building technology businesses and scaling global teams. He previously held multiple go-to-market leadership roles at Google in the US and Europe, building teams across both the cloud and ads businesses. He then held executive roles at Yammer (acquired by Microsoft), SurveyMonkey, Euclid (acquired by WeWork) and Airtable.
Speaking on the launch of the new fund, partner Stephen McIntyre highlighted why FrontlineX is positioned to bridge the gap faced by US companies expanding into Europe: “We’ve benchmarked the best of B2B software and seen that, by the time a company goes public, 30% of its revenue should be coming from Europe. But even the biggest names in tech fail to get there because of avoidable mistakes when they land. We’ve learned about international expansion the hard way as operators. The good news is that most of these problems are known and solvable. But there’s no simple playbook, no one-size-fits-all solution. We take a hands-on approach with every company to ensure they make a fast start when they land and expand.”
FrontlineX has already made several promising investments: the Series B of TripActions, a company that has gone on to raise from Andreessen Horowitz at a $4 billion valuation; People.ai’s $100 million Series C together with Lightspeed, Andreessen Horowitz and ICONIQ; and Clearbanc’s $50 million Series B with Emergence and Highland.
Noting FrontlineX’s unique value to enable portfolio companies to successfully expand internationally, Ariel Cohen, the CEO of TripActions, said: “We’ve grown from 0 to 150 people in Europe, built a world-class culture and scored a major strategic partner, all in 18 months. Such a fast start is only possible when you put strong foundations in place – and Frontline was instrumental in helping us do that. They were a crucial source of go-to-market advice, they introduced multiple quality candidates from their local network – from GMs to Sales to Finance – and Stephen even coached one of my VPs for six months. Frontline’s operating experience in Europe made the advice pragmatic and actionable. Just what we needed to make Europe a growth engine for TripActions globally.”