Saul Klein is a busy man. As the co-founder, with his father Robin, of LocalGlobe, one of the longest running VCs in Europe, he has overseen a wide range of initiatives – among others the pair are passionate investors and philanthropists in LocalGlobe’s HQ’d area of Somers Town, London – as well as the more conventional venture of venture capital investment in startups.
But while the LocalGlobe brand name and fund will remain, the new umbrella brand for all of Kleins’ operations will henceforth be “Phoenix Court Group” (I’ll call it PCG in this article). The group also reveals how its four new funds will work, plus how it will donate 10 percent of its profits to a charity.
The company has now outlined how it will have $500 million at “the first close” to spread across its funds: LocalGlobe (early stage), Latitude (early stage of “growth”) and two all-new investment vehicles, Solar and Basecamp.
A healthy 10 percent of Phoenix Court Group’s profits go to the Phoenix Court Works foundation to help local groups in Somers Town.
Klein also promotes the idea that PCG’s King’s Cross, London, location puts it in the heart of a European region he calls “the next Palo Alto” — more on that later.
So first to the fund structures. TechCrunch has looked through the marketing buff to come up with these definitions of PCG funds:
• LocalGlobe (from seed to series A)
• Latitude (Series B and above)
• Solar (Series C and above, as well as investing in listed technology stocks/public markets)
• Basecamp (LP fund to invest in other smaller VCs, angels and solo GPs)
With this range of fund vehicles, this will turn PCG into a “lifestage” tech investor, able to invest from the earliest stages of startup to late stage and through to the public markets. It is now also an LP in other funds (via Basecamp), especially in emerging markets such as Africa and Latin America.
But zoom out for a second and Basecamp is basically the retro-fitted name PCG gives to the various initiatives the Kleins supported, such as Seedcamp in 2007, business builder Zinc.vc in 2017, and music industry platform Platoon, among others. Basecamp also partners with the diversity-focused Newton Venture Program, which LocalGlobe co-founded with London Business School. Pheonic Court Works has underwritten 60 scholarships for this program.
PCG also now states that the region is within a four-hour train journey from its base in Kings Cross and St Pancras (which includes Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, northern UK cities (Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle), Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge). ) is home to over 40 million citizens, 7 of the world’s top 30 universities, and includes a large number of European Unicorns. It is likely to call this region of Europe a ‘New Palo Alto’ – although the marketing is overly labor intensive. Moreover, PCG hardly has a monopoly on this region – whatever you call it – as every other London VC a tube ride from Kings Cross has access to the very same ecosystem.
However, Saul Klein, co-founder of Phoenix Court Group, said in a statement: “Despite being the third best producer of high-growth private companies worldwide, this geography is still underserved by investors, especially in the breakout and scale-up phase Not only is there an acute funding gap here in the scale-up phase, less than 20% of the capital invested in that phase is domestic, so when companies in our region are acquired or move to the public markets, British retirees and savers miss out while their Canadian, Australian and Singaporean equivalents benefit.”
PCG will also support Phoenix Court Works, the foundation that supports organizations in the Somers Town area of North London and more broadly in Camden, and is funded by 10% of the profits of the Phoenix Court Group management company and 2% of the transfer of all funds.
Dealroom’s recently published VC Prominence Rank largely showed US-based Accel at 24 unicorns and Sequoia at 20, while LocalGlobe has invested mainly in Europe, delivering 18 unicorns in the seed stage. LocalGlobe’s unicorns are At-Bay, Hailo, Motorway, Travelperk, and Zego.
On a phone call with me, Klein spoke of the plethora of financing vehicles: “If you look at the companies that are really going to get big, they don’t just get really big in the private markets, but also in the public markets.”
“We all think of Sequoia, which has this fund that can invest in both private and public companies, which was 15 years in the making. So our view is that if you have the opportunity to get into companies in the start-up phase, why not keep investing in the outbreaks, like with Latitude, three to four years before these companies are able to go public. to go? Last year we had eight IPOs, why wouldn’t you want to invest again? That’s Solar. If they’re great companies that still have a long way to go, then stick with it. Right? We now have full life-stage financing for businesses.”
But what Klein ultimately seems to be aiming for, even with the rather forced stuff about “the New Palo Alto,” is that he wants to do VC otherwise to how it was experienced in the past. After all, there aren’t many other VCs (at least the ones I’ve known of lately) that do this wide range of both hard-core investing and show an interest in their environment, and Put 10% of the profit and 2% of the carry into philanthropic activities. It’s clear that PCG is eager to build a “new kind of Bay Area,” but this time with less “Tech Bros” and more “Tech Values.”