Sapphire Ventures to Expand European Reach Following Unveiling of Nearly $2bn in New Capital Commitments
LONDON and SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Sapphire Ventures, a leading venture capital firm that partners with visionary teams and venture funds to build companies of consequence, has today announced it will significantly expand its European investment activities over the coming year.
As part of this expansion, which follows the opening of the firm’s first European office last year with seven team members, Sapphire is delighted to announce that Annalise Dragic, currently a Principal at the firm, will be promoted to Partner, making her one of Europe’s youngest female VC Partners.
In addition, the firm has announced that veteran investor and Sapphire Ventures Partner, Kevin Diestel, has relocated from Silicon Valley to join the European team and is now based in the London office. As a result, nearly a third of the firm’s enterprise venture-specialized partners are now based out of London. The team will continue to ramp up investment activity into the European and Israeli ecosystem during 2022.
This commitment to European expansion follows Sapphire’s announcement earlier this month of $2 billion in new capital commitments for investments in late-stage technology companies across the US, Europe and Israel. This is the firm’s largest fundraise to date and comes across Sapphire Ventures Fund VI, L.P. (“Fund VI”) and Sapphire Ventures Opportunity Fund III, L.P. (“Opportunity Fund III”). This fundraise brings the Firm’s to $8.8 billion.(a)
Sapphire’s European team is a key pillar in Sapphire’s overall ambition to be the preferred partner to visionary teams and funds building companies of consequence. The announcement of these new funds significantly increases the capital available to back ambitious founders across the region.
Sapphire operates out of four major offices with a global team of more than 40 investment and portfolio growth professionals working collaboratively to partner with growth-stage companies in key industry sectors.
Annalise Dragic promoted to partner
With her promotion to Partner, Annalise Dragic becomes Sapphire’s newest and first female Partner focused on Europe and one of the youngest female VC Partners in the ecosystem. Annalise, 29, joined Sapphire as a Principal in 2020, having previously worked at Atomico. Since joining the team, she has been involved in Sapphire’s investments in Adverity, Contentful, Currencycloud, GitGuardian, Matillion, Unmind, and Yapily, and worked on the firm’s investments in Cazoo and Wandera (acquired by Jamf).
Annalise comments: “I’m honored to become Partner at Sapphire Ventures. There has never been a more exciting time to be a venture investor in Europe. I’m looking forward to deepening Sapphire’s presence across the continent, building out our team, and partnering with more ambitious mission-driven founders.”
Sapphire further invests in European team
To further increase their ability to partner with European companies, Kevin Diestel, Partner on the Sapphire Ventures team, will leverage his decades of experience with Sapphire focusing primarily on innovative consumer businesses, fintech, and vertical software applications.
Diestel comments: “I’m excited to be part of Sapphire’s European expansion and I’m looking forward to partnering with more companies of consequence on this side of the Atlantic. Since our founding in 2011, we have had a presence in Europe, but we are now seriously underscoring this commitment to the market through our London office and by rapidly expanding our team on the ground.”
Thomas Moon, Vice President in the Sapphire Partners team, has also relocated to London. Thomas will support Sapphire’s activities partnering with early-stage venture capital managers in Europe and Israel. Abhishek Lahoti has also joined the team to lead the firm’s international expansion Center of Excellence and spearhead the European arm of the Portfolio Growth team, with a specialisation in advising companies on operating in the region.
These additions bring Sapphire’s European team to a total of seven members, with plans underway to continue to grow the team count to 10 over the next 6 months.
European Sapphire portfolio IPOs and acquisitions mount
In 2021, the firm backed a number of companies across Europe and Israel. This came against the backdrop of a milestone year for Sapphire’s European portfolio, with four public debuts – Monday.com, Kaltura, Wise, and Cazoo – as well as the acquisition of Wandera by JAMF, the acquisition of Qubit by Coveo, and the announcement of Visa signing a definitive agreement to acquire Currencycloud.
New unicorns dominate
Over the past year, Sapphire’s European portfolio has seen a number of large funding rounds, (all of which Sapphire has participated in as follow-on rounds), including: Lisbon/SF-based Feedzai raised $200M, Tel Aviv-based Verbit raised $157M, Berlin-based Contentful raised $175M, Vienna-based Adverity raised $120M, and Manchester-based Matillion raised $150M. Of these, Feedzai, Verbit, Contentful, and Matillion reached unicorn status.
Looking ahead to 2022, the Sapphire team aims to step up the pace of investment in the European ecosystem. Sapphire’s London-based team is led by Sapphire founding partner, Andreas Weiskam. After helping found Sapphire in the firm’s Palo Alto headquarters, Andreas Weiskam moved to Europe in 2012 and has driven the firm’s European and Israeli investment activities to-date.
Andreas Weiskam, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Sapphire Ventures, comments:
“The supply of ambitious entrepreneurs and great ideas is not limited to any geography. The barriers to build global companies of consequence are falling and there are now over 60 cities with unicorn companies in Europe. These are exciting times, and I could not be more thrilled about the excellent additions to our Sapphire team to seize the increasing opportunities in the European ecosystem”.
The team will continue to focus on investing in Series B through to IPO stage, high-growth tech companies, primarily across business applications, fintech, and infrastructure software, as well as continuing to support early stage and emerging fund managers through its Sapphire Partners arm.
Sapphire is a leading global technology-focused venture capital firm with more than $8.8 billion in AUM and team members across Austin, London, New York, Palo Alto and San Francisco. For more than two decades, Sapphire has partnered with visionary management teams and venture funds to help scale companies of consequence. Since its founding, Sapphire has invested in more than 170 companies globally (b) resulting in more than 30 IPOs and 45 acquisitions. (c) The firm’s investment strategies — Sapphire Ventures, Sapphire Partners and Sapphire Sport — are focused on scaling companies and venture funds, elevating them to become category leaders. Sapphire’s Portfolio Growth team of experienced operators delivers a strategic blend of value-add services, tools and resources designed to support portfolio company leaders as they scale. To learn more about Sapphire, visit: https://sapphireventures.com.
(a) “AUM” — Assets Under Management (AUM) represents Sapphire’s Regulatory Assets Under Management as of 12/31/2020 per ADV filed March 2021 as well as new commitments made to Sapphire Funds during calendar year 2021.
(b) Figures represent all Sapphire direct growth investments made since the firm’s inception in 2011 to November 2021.
(c) Figures represent all Sapphire direct growth investments that have had an IPO or public listing from the firm’s inception in 2011 to November 2021. The specific companies identified may not be representative of all of Sapphire’s investments and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. A complete alphabetical list of Sapphire’s investments made by its direct growth investing funds is available here.
Disclaimer – Nothing presented within this article is intended to constitute investment advice, and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures, LLC (“Sapphire”). Sapphire does not provide investment advice and is not registered in the United Kingdom. Information provided reflects Sapphires’ views as of a time, whereby such views are subject to change at any point and Sapphire shall not be obligated to provide notice of any change. Nothing contained in this article may be relied upon as a guarantee or assurance as to the future success of any particular company. Companies mentioned in this article are a representative sample of portfolio companies in which Sapphire has invested in which the author believes such companies fit the objective criteria stated in commentary, which do not reflect all investments made by Sapphire. A complete alphabetical list of Sapphires’ investments made by its direct growth and sports investing strategies is available here. Various statements made by third party guests about Sapphire relate to the nature and type of management services provided by Sapphire and do not constitute testimonials to Sapphires’ investment advisory services and no inference to the contrary should be made. Sapphire does not solicit or make its services available to the public and none of the funds are currently open to new investors. While the Sapphire has used reasonable efforts to obtain information from reliable sources, we make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of third-party information presented herein, which is subject to change. Past performance is not indicative of future results.