Fly Ventures, a Berlin-based VC using machine learning to find its next deal, closes $41M fund

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Fly Ventures, a comparatively new VC working out of Berlin, has closed its first fund at $41 million, capital it’s going to use to speculate at seed-stage in startups throughout Europe. LPs within the fund embody the European Funding Fund (EIF), Korelya Capital, and a variety of unnamed household places of work from Europe and the U.S.

Particularly, Fly Ventures will likely be writing cheque sizes of $400,000 to $900,000, initially, into seed rounds of between $1 million and $2.5 million. It’s concentrating on the entire of Europe, however I’m advised that Berlin, Paris, and London will likely be a key focus. By way of funding thesis, the agency is planning on investing in automation.

This contains vertical purposes the place the shopper doesn’t actually care about or discover using AI and machine studying as a way to ship a service, horizontal AI expertise that’s extra specific and may be put to a number of makes use of.

Noteworthy, nonetheless, is that Fly Ventures itself is making an attempt to punch above its weight and scale through the use of what it claims is machine studying and AI to assist generate deal move, and in flip uncover burgeoning tech startups, typically earlier than they’ve even begun fundraising. Utilizing its expertise, Fly Ventures claims it is ready to discover and method startups with a digital footprint, and says its software program at the moment finds greater than 1,000 new corporations every week.

On the floor, a minimum of, that feels like an analogous method to the one being taken by Roberto Bonanzinga’s InReach Ventures in London.

Supported by a software program engineering crew made up of ex-Googlers, the Fly Ventures’ tech is at the moment focussed on automating sourcing i.e. figuring out potential investments. “Our platform pulls knowledge from a whole lot of sources together with blogs, job boards, accelerators, and databases like CrunchBase,” Fly Ventures co-founder and Basic Accomplice Gabriel Matuschka tells me.

“Our algorithms then use a mixture of structured and unstructured knowledge derived from these sources to rank and filter the businesses we discover. “The outcomes are offered to the funding crew in a Tinder like interface that lets us rapidly determine whether or not we wish to communicate to an organization”.

I’m advised that thus far about 60 p.c of the startups Fly Ventures speaks are approached chilly, that means that the VC agency reaches out to a crew with out a deal coming in through its personal community or through founders approaching them.

Firms in its present portfolio that have been found through chilly outbound search embody Aspect, a job-matching platform for college students; and EF alumni Bloomsbury AI, which is growing expertise to learn and reply questions on authorized, insurance coverage and monetary paperwork.

“We’ve discovered that founders are very receptive to us reaching out to them. Not as soon as did it occur that founders didn’t wish to communicate to us, particularly after we advised them how we discovered their firm,” says Matuschka.

To that finish, the vertical sectors Fly has invested in to this point embody finance, HR and recruiting, and mobility and well being. Latest investments embody Finiata, the financing firm for SMEs, freelancers and the self-employed, which this week raised €18 million; and Inato, an AI-powered affected person recruitment platform for scientific trials.

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