Mattias Ljungman launches $60m data-driven seed fund Moonfire to back Europe’s burning tech ambition
- $60 million fund focuses on “first money in” pre-seed and seed investment
- Ex-Atomico co-founder launches VC firm powered by data
- Fund LPs span institutional investors, private family offices and high-profile entrepreneurs
- European tech boom leads to fresh opportunities for seed funding
Moonfire Ventures, the seed stage VC firm set up by ex-Atomico co-founder Mattias Ljungman, announces its fund of $60million and ambition to be the most data-driven venture capital firm in Europe.
Ljungman says of the future of European startups:
“European tech is going through a renaissance, and it’s time for a new fund to support founders at their most formative stage. In this hyper competitive venture market we need to build European companies that are built to last and go on to be best in class globally. The data driven approach is the best way to respond to the scale and speed of the market.
“We are seeing a new generation of founders coming out of the 100+ $1bn companies operating in Europe and we’ve also seen a surge in companies responding with products and services tailored to our new, post-Covid reality. We’re here to back them.”
Moonfire’s momentum reflects a gap for seed funding in Europe. “The data shows that European seed is underfunded: it has not received the same attention as it has in the US and China. We have seen existing later stage VC funds who have recently closed large rounds, that are searching for new deals coming out of seed. The performance of seed investments will only get better as the exit opportunity becomes larger and more frequent,” he says.
With the European tech scene booming, Ljungman believes the old venture model of personal relationships and gut instinct starts to fail when applied at scale. Moonfire is built from the ground-up as a data-driven VC organisation.
“Venture will always be a relationship business, but it should be powered by data, software and machine learning to hone and optimise everything we do from discovery, screening and evaluation to delivering better insights for our founders. We are able to enhance traditional thesis-driven investing and make decision-making quicker and more effective.”
Ljungman has founded Moonfire, raised and closed the fund, built his team, operated and already invested in a dozen startups in the last year – all while working remotely. This is Moonfire’s first fund, and it has been raised from LPs spanning institutional investors and high-profile entrepreneurs and VCs. Cendana, the US-based seed fund investment firm, is the anchor investor and is joined by Utah School & Institutional Trust Funds Office (SITFO) and Reference Capital among others. The fund was significantly oversubscribed.
Moonfire focuses on investing in Health & Wellbeing, Work & Knowledge, Gaming, Community & Leisure and Capital & Finance with recent investments across Europe in Humaans, Electric Noir Studios, Skunkworks, Pento, Awell Health, Mindstone, Business Score, Homerun, HiPeople, LoveShark, WillaPay, Oliva, Equify, and more.
New Moonfire partners are Mike Arpaia and Candice Lo. Arpaia is a computer scientist who joins Moonfire with experience building early-stage start-ups and creating marketing-defining software at Etsy, Facebook, Kolide and Workday. Lo is an operator turned investor, with experience investing in seed and series A start-ups at Blossom Capital and Uber in Europe and China.
Ljungman was a co-founder of Atomico, one of Europe’s top venture funds with over $2bn assets under management. He has spent 20 years investing in the best European founders. His key investments include Klarna (valued at $31bn), Supercell ($5bn exit to Softbank), Viagogo (valued over $2.25bn) and Climate Corp ($1.1bn exit to Monsanto).
Giovanni Luperti, co-founder of Humaans, says:
“Moonfire is audacious, ambitious and able to move fast. Mattias’s vision is bold, which aligns with courageous founders dreaming big. It helped us access a network of incredible operators and entrepreneurs that we can learn from, and provided sound advice to scale our business. At Humaans we are proud to partner with Moonfire and grateful for their support.”
Graham Pingree, Partner at Cendana Capital, says:
“We’ve been watching the European start-up ecosystem mature and grow in the past year and we’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with the team at Moonfire as they look to expand their portfolio. Moonfire, like Cendana, is passionate about supporting founders at the earliest stages of their journey and they have the skills and expertise needed to nurture a new generation of founders.”
Moonfire is a “first money in” European seed fund focused on helping founders at the very start of their journeys to create the right foundations for exponential growth. It was founded in 2020 by Mattias Ljungman, a co-founder of Atomico, one of Europe’s top venture funds with over $2bn assets under management. He has spent 20 years investing in the best European founders. His key investments include Klarna (valued at $31bn), Supercell ($5bn exit to Softbank), Viagogo (valued over $2.25bn) and Climate Corp ($1.1bn exit to Monsanto). Moonfire focuses on investing in Health & Wellbeing, Work & Knowledge, Gaming, Community & Leisure and Capital & Finance with recent investments across Europe in Humaans, Electric Noir Studios, Skunkworks, Pento, Awell Health, Mindstone, Business Score, Homerun, HiPeople, LoveShark, WillaPay, Oliva, Equify, and more.
You can find a comprehensive update on the Moonfire portfolio, investment activity and team at: www.moonfire.com.