Lifeline Ventures, also one of the Vigo accelerators, has announced the launch of a €20 million fund for early stage growth companies. The investors in the fund include Pension Insurance Ilmarinen, FoF Growth, Sitra, Finnvera, Troll Ventures, Juuranto Invest and the founders of Lifeline Ventures. We talked to Petteri Koponen, one of the co-founders of the firm to understand more about the fund.
The fund is called Lifeline Ventures Fund I and it has an investment period of 5 years which is included with the 10 years of the overall age of the fund. The first five years of the fund lifecycle will be used to make new investments and the latter five will be used for follow-up investments.
The overall focus industry wise resembles that of the current work Lifeline Ventures is doing, meaning health, games, web and general high technology. Regarding lifecycle, the firm plans to invest into early stage companies that are seeking angel, seed and A round investments. This is slightly different from what they’ve done so far. For example in the case of Grand Cru Games, Lifeline Ventures was one of the founding investors to get the company going.
Koponen anticipates the fund to make some 10 to 20 investments over the years, meaning each firm would be receiving as initial and follow-up investments somewhere between €500 000 and €1 million.
As Lifeline Ventures is also part of the Vigo accelerator program, it has been bound by the rules set in there to which companies to invest in as the government support that leverages those investments is limited to Finnish companies only. With the new fund, Lifeline Ventures is not bound by similar restrictions and aims to invest into some companies outside of Finland as well.
During the past two years, Lifeline Ventures has invested into 18 early stage companies together with some of the most respected international investors, such as Accel Partners, Index Ventures and True Ventures. Together, the companies have raised some €35 million in financing.
This is a great initiative and even greater is to see the bigger institutional investors on board, who have been missing out in the past few years. Hopefully this is a growing trend and we will see more of similar efforts being put into place in the coming years.
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