We’ve seen a ton of geographically-specific venture capital funds pop up to push capital in a startup hub that needs a boost, as specific as Newark, New Jersey or broad as Australia. Even today, UK’s Balderton Capital raised a new $400 million fund to back EU tech startups.
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But Gil Dibner, the general partner and founder of Angular Ventures, is going a different route as he hunts across 40 countries in Europe and Israel for his next deal: instead of focusing on specific geographies, he’s going “industry specific.”
Angular Ventures just closed its debut $41 million fund to invest in deep tech and enterprise companies. Dibner plans to cut seed and early-stage checks between $250,000 and $1.5 million.
The London, Tel Aviv, and New York-based firm is in a unique position that many geographic-focused funds around Europe are not. Instead of partnering with local governments, Angular stayed with commercial investors, allowing it to be “able to invest with no geographic targets or constraints.”
“We don’t exist to create jobs in this geography, we exist to bring great returns by LPs,” he said. Dibner has sourced deal flow from over 40 countries throughout his career.
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In terms of an ideal founder, Dibner said it is “a founder [who] has already built…a very advanced technology focused on enterprise.” That assumes a certain level of progress from the startup before it seeks venture capital (which feels, in all honesty, rare these days).
And while he’s looking for deal flow outside the United States, Dibner admitted that the nation remains the single largest market for enterprise technology in the world. Plus, it has the most early adopters.
“The founders are typically thinking of moving to the U.S., selling into the U.S. remotely, and hiring into the U.S.,” he said.
To help his international founders make that transition, he put his head of platform in New York City for partnerships and has cultivated a close relationship with an immigration lawyer to help with the technicalities of the visa process.
Dibner said his professional experience (he has backed 40 companies to date throughout his career) mixed with his personal experience gives companies high value. He is the sole general partner of the fund.
“If being a founder is the loneliest thing a person can do, being a founder who is required to move thousands of miles across the ocean to a new country in order to succeed at the scale they know they can succeed, that’s an order of magnitude loneliner,” he said. “As an expat myself, I think it helps us be in a position to help our founders make that very difficult journey.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias