The US has had a single VC fund manager for years, but the trend is only beginning to catch on in Europe. One of the newest is Underline Ventures, launched this year in Bogdan Iordache, Romania. His career trajectory toward becoming a Solo GP fits the profile: a former entrepreneur, a key player in the Eastern European tech scene, a founder of the How to Web conference, and a former VC in multiple partner teams.
Above all, Europe needs more of these ‘funds of funds’ that are specialized to work with this new wave of European single GPs.
Hypernova, a $25m fund that soft-launched in June was founded by veteran investor Tugce Ergul. He plans to invest not only in other funds but also directly in startups Ergul was previously with Angel Labs, an “investment accelerator,” which spans 44 countries.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Ergel said: “There’s a new wave of funding coming. We are talking about successful founders who are now starting their own funds to invest in new entrepreneurs. There partners leave their former funds and start their own funds, because now it is easier and cheaper than ever to start a fund. And there is more support for mono-capitalists.”
So how does it work? Hypernova puts 40% of its funding into the Solo GP Fund and the rest directly into startups, 50% in the US and 50% in Europe.
Ticket sizes will be $500k-750k for single GPs raising their first fund, and Hypernova will target not only financiers, but potential journalists, angel investors, ex-entrepreneurs or collaborators/partners spinning off their previous VC funding.
HyperNova provides support to new GPs in fund management aspects, required technology, LP introduction, branding support, and coin investment opportunities.
Ergel adds that in the past an LP would not give any money to a solo VC: “Now there is a new world where you can find LP money if you are just one person and a single GP. Start-up funds have become cheaper. You can set up a fund for $10,000 and your fund admin costs are really low. So it’s just creating access that’s easier for these fund managers. So we want to back those fund managers. Then this is where the hybrid game comes into play as the other half of the fund is a direct investment vehicle. And we’ll either co-invest with these funds that we invest in, or we’re going to invest in follow-on rounds among the winners of these fund managers.”
For its direct investments, Hypernova plans to focus on automation, retail, finance, logistics, transportation and shipping, with ticket sizes of $250k-500k, and will not take board seats.
Hypernova claims to be the first female-led solo GP fund in Europe and the first female-led solo GP fund-of-funds in the US
Since its soft launch in June, Hypernova says it includes:
– Invested in an early-stage infrastructure fund from San Francisco
– The London-based fund manages the athletes’ finances
– A Berlin-based, single GP fund
– LA-based DeepTech Fund
– San Francisco based fund investing in LP Secondary (Fund II).
– Directly invested in a hydrogen marketplace based out of San Francisco
– DevOps for carbon removal companies based in Berlin
– Cohort based learning and talent platform known as Newol based in London
– A micro-fulfillment platform to optimize the last mile
It now plans to open an office in London and hire London-based partners by January 2023.
And it’s launching an LP diversification and inclusion program to bring new investors into the fund-investing game where they can co-invest in small amounts.
“I’m a solo venture capitalist myself,” Ergel added. And this is one of the new things for the market. I started it because I experienced many difficulties and problems being a lone GP. If I had started it in the US as a pure US focused American fund I would have closed it within six months. But because I wanted to do something that bridges the US and Europe, it took a lot longer.”