Estonian-British investment fund pledges €400 million to Europe’s tech startups

The Tallinn, Estonia, and London, UK-based early-stage investment fund, Plural, announced on 23 January a new €400 million fund to support European tech entrepreneurs.

Plural, which launched in June 2022, aims to match European startup entrepreneurs with investors who have also been founders.

“Only 8% of European VCs have ever built a company, yet founders building tough businesses are better served by investors with first-hand experience,” Plural said in a statement.

Plural’s team of investors includes Estonians Taavet Hinrikus, a co-founder of Wise, and Sten Tamkivi, a serial entrepreneur. The team also includes Carina Namih, Ian Hogarth and Khaled Helioui. The 15-people Plural team is based in Tallinn, Estonia, and London, the UK.

Significant technology built across Europe

Since inception, Plural has invested in 26 companies across six countries – Denmark, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the US. Its largest sectors in terms of investments are AI (31%), frontier tech (16%) and climate and energy (14%).

Plural’s Taavet Hinrikus has invested in Arbonics, an Estonian-founded tech-based carbon and ecosystem platform for forest and landowners in Europe.

Plural said its latest fund “exceeded its target and attracted participation from some of the world’s most prestigious university endowments, foundations and family offices”.

Carina Namih, a partner at Plural, said the fund wanted to take its investment model “deeper into the European ecosystem, where startup creation continues to outpace the US”.

Taavet Hinrikus said founders who are tackling the world’s biggest problems through technology are the type of companies Plural backs. “By supporting the most ambitious founders with our hard-won experience, we’re determined to build enduring global companies that have GDP-level impact and transform economies and societies,” he said in a statement.

He added that “significant technology” is being built across Europe; more than 40% of European tech investment last year went into frontier and deep tech, according to Hinrikus. Frontier technologies are emerging at the intersection of radical scientific breakthroughs and real-world implementation – in artificial intelligence, big data, the metaverse and bioprinting. 

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