- Saul Klein’s VC firm LocalGlobe has relaunched as Phoenix Court Group after raising $500 million.
- The veteran VC believes Europe could be a “new Palo Alto” as investor interest on the continent grows.
- The company will now oversee four separate funds investing in startups, from pre-seed to scale-up.
British venture capital veteran Saul Klein has revamped his investment firm after raising $500 million in new funds to support startups across Europe.
Klein, through his VC firm LocalGlobe, which has been rebranded as Phoenix Court Group, has invested early in a series of leading startups, such as trading app Robinhood and payment company Wise.
The revamp goes beyond the new name, with the investor broadening its focus to place bets on founders at all stages of the startup growth cycle, including their access to public markets.
The European startup ecosystem has evolved from a hub for early stage startups to the “new Palo Alto,” according to Klein, who said the shift was 20 years in the making.
The region is home to a myriad of multibillion-dollar start-ups, including struggling buy now, later-paying giant Klarna, London-based fintech Revolut, and online payments firm Checkout.com.
For Klein, the “new Palo Alto” region – which he describes as European regions within a four-hour train ride from London – is understaffed by investors, particularly in the scale-up phases, leaving a funding gap that is not sufficiently filled when compared to the US and China.
“It took 20 years to get started and now it’s getting interesting in this geography,” Klein told Insider. “All of this aligns for us with this vision for what the next 20 years of investing in innovation can be about, especially what this ecosystem we call New Palo Alto.”
Phoenix Court Group now oversees four separate funds. The four funds include seed and pre-seed focused LocalGlobe, Basecamp, a community of more than 50 early-stage investors, Latitude, an investment vehicle for early-growth companies, as well as scale-up fund Solar, which provides companies all the way into public markets. , whereby the company wants to maintain interests in companies as listed.
Klein’s VC firm’s shift to a “lifetime” tech investor after building its reputation as a seed specialist is the latest step for a VC to restructure their approach to fund management in an effort to seize opportunities in both young and more mature businesses .
Heavyweight VC firm Sequoia has hired a number of general partners in Europe over the past year to support startups on the continent, with the company’s Sequoia Fund focusing on both early-stage and growth-stage investments.
The $500 million raised marks a first close for Phoenix Court Group, which will continue discussions with limited partners about raising new funds to invest in startups from the outset in what it describes as “the world’s third largest innovation.” ecosystem”.
Despite the current market downturn that has wiped billions from the valuations of several tech companies, Klein remains optimistic about LP’s willingness to invest in venture capital funds given the long-term horizon over which startup investments are made.
“Those who can’t see beyond the next 2 years should not invest in this asset class, should not invest in scientific technology or innovation, because the innovation dividend is 10-20 years from now, not 10 days from now, ” he said.
Phoenix Group Court’s investment team is now made up of 13 partners after hiring Paul Bishop from the private market team at UK pension fund Railpen, and will continue to expand as it sees opportunities in sectors such as Web3 and corporate infrastructure.