London-based Crane Venture Partners raises $140m second fund to back early-stage founders

London-based Crane Venture Partners raises $140m second fund to back early-stage founders

Published: 24-05-2022 16:42:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 416 | Tags:

Crane Venture Partners, the London based firm leading the industry in graduation rates from seed to Series A, announced it has raised $140 million in its second fund to back early-stage founders building the platforms and tools that will become tomorrow's software infrastructure.

The fund focuses on the open source, artificial intelligence, data and developer tools being used to build the world's digital foundations. Across both funds, Crane now has more than 50 portfolio companies, making the venture capital firm one of the deepest specialists in Europe.

Krishna Visvanathan, Co-founder and General Partner, Crane Venture Partners: "The future is being built today by passionate and diverse entrepreneurs from every corner of the world, and our funds focus on exactly those humans. We are in service of our founders and understand that entrepreneurship is a path to professional and personal realization. When we focus there, the returns naturally follow."

Most of Crane's investments are dedicated to founders who have first-hand experience with the problem they're trying to solve and for which there is an underserved market with massive potential. The firm brings to bear deep expertise in Go-to-Market (GTM) strategies and creates the kind of leverage for seed-stage companies that accelerates their trajectory. It is the success of this approach and its focus on people that are attracting both LPs and founders to Crane. The results are clearly visible in the industry-leading high graduation rates to Series A.

Dennis Kayser, CEO and Co-founder, Forecast: "Crane recognized what Forecast could be before nearly any other investor and they didn't hesitate to dig in with us to get building. Every VC pitches what they can do for you, but very few actually do anything when you need it. Krishna and Scott have put in the time to help us navigate PMF and raise an awesome Series A." 

Jenna Brown, CEO and Co-founder, Shipamax: "Shipamax uses NLP and other machine learning methods to automate complex workflows across the supply chain. When we were raising our Seed round, Crane was the only firm that understood what it really meant to be in the trenches of running an early stage B2B startup. Since then, I've been able to rely on their B2B knowledge and personal support every step of the way, even through the tough patches."

The early-stage investment environment in Europe has changed dramatically over the last five years. When Crane raised its first fund, European and US investors had yet to recognise the caliber and depth of early stage technical founders to be found across the continent. But with highly visible and successful exits for European technology companies, such as Amsterdam based Adyen in 2018 and Bucharest based UiPath in 2021, LPs and other venture capital ecosystem participants have started to invest heavily in the region. Crane, founded in 2015, saw the potential early due to its partners' combined 30 plus years of experience investing in the UK and Europe from their home base of London. Crane today has amongst the deepest investment and operating expertise in the areas of open source, data, ML-first and deep tech across Europe.

Tim Corbett, Chief Investment Officer, MassMutual: "With a three-part equal focus on financial returns, empowering founders in their personal and professional lives and supporting the digital world of tomorrow, Crane is well-positioned to build upon the success it has realized over the past several years. We look forward to continuing to support its portfolio through leveraging our operating and venture businesses, deep relationships, and presence around the globe."

Crane has tightened its investment focus while expanding its geographic reach with its second fund. The first fund included 60 percent of investments in the UK, 20 percent in Germany and 10 percent in Swiss companies. Its second fund is expected to put 50 percent of investments in the UK, with the rest being spread across EuropeIsrael and the U.S. Nearly 20 companies are already included in Crane's second fund, including Encord, Encore, Novu, Nuclia, Qovery, Restack, SeeChange and Veratrak. Anchor LPs include Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), British Patient Capital, a Sovereign Wealth Fund and Fund of Funds.

www.crane.vc