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European Investment Fund and Luxembourg Future Fund to back Fabric Ventures’ 2021 in support of the Open Economy

    Date: 29 July 2021
  • European Investment Fund (EIF) and Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF) back Fabric Ventures’ 2021 Fund with €25 million ($30m) at first close, reaching $100 million and welcoming the 2021 Fund in Luxembourg
  • First EIF-backed fund mandated to invest in digital assets under EU’s InnovFin Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology pilot  backed by the Investment Plan for Europe
  • New technologies and solutions are needed to meet the challenge of the Open Economy and unlock financing opportunities for entrepreneurs

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF) have signed off €25 million ($30 million) at the first close of Fabric Ventures, a Europe-based venture fund whose core mission is to back the founders of the Open Economy across the globe. The new 2021 Fund has reached $100 million in its first closing - of its $130 million fund other 42 founders, partners, and executives from Ethereum, (Transfer)Wise, PayU, Polkadot, Sorare, Ledger, Ebury, PPRO, Aztec Protocol, Raisin, Aragon, Orchid, MySQL, MariaDB, NEAR Protocol, Curve, Blackpool, StakeDAO, Stake Capital, PayPal, Google, The New Institute, Verifone, Earlybird, Accelerator Ventures, Felix Capital, LocalGlobe, Matrix Partners China, Cambridge Associates, Evanston Capital, Brunswick, OpenOcean, DN Capital and Claret Capital. Other notable backers in the new fund include Niklas Zennstrom’s venture firm Atomico, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Barry Silbert’s DCG, German multi-family office Lennertz & Co., Blockchain Coinvestors and Hutt Capital.

Fabric Ventures’ 2021 Fund is the first EIF-backed fund mandated to invest in digital assets, under the EU’s InnovFin Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology pilot backed by EFSI – the European Fund for Strategic Investments, and main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. The 2021 fund will invest in traditional equity as well as the software tokens and other digital assets native to these new inclusive and collaborative networks and applications. These are all underpinned by the recent invention of digital scarcity and hence ownership. The founders of the open economy frequently have the explicit objective of delivering solutions to many of humanity’s most fundamental challenges.

EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard said:  “We are very pleased to be partnering with Fabric Ventures to bring to the European market this fund specialising in Blockchain technologies. Despite their rich engineering talent, deeptech entrepreneurs in the Blockchain sector in Europe often struggle to find financial support and investors that have a deep understanding of their space. This partnership seeks to address that need and unlock financing opportunities for entrepreneurs active in the field of blockchain technologies - a field of particular strategic importance for the EU and our competitiveness on the global stage.”

Patrick Nickels, Chairman of LFF’s Board of Directors said: “Digital assets represents the frontier of finance and the Luxembourg Future Fund is pleased to support Fabric Ventures II as a first close investors.” Adding: “Luxembourg is a global financial hub and we are delighted that Fabric Ventures will be established in Luxembourg, as this presents a unique opportunity to help Luxembourg become a potential hub for these types of activities moving forward.”

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “As we see an ever-growingneed for investments in Europe for the increasing number of highly innovative start-ups and SMEs in the Blockchain and AI space, I welcome this step in our collaboration with the EIF on this investment fund. We will continue to support the incubation and scale-up of highly innovative AI and Blockchain technologies, which are critical in ensuring that Europe is home to the thriving digital innovators of the future.”

“Fabric’s new fund will be put to work partnering with the most daring and relentless entrepreneurs of the open economy on their journey to architect lasting protocols and platforms, not simply companies”, said Richard Muirhead, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Fabric Ventures. “It is now well acknowledged that there is a need for a web that is user-owned and, consequently, more human-centric. There are astonishing people crafting this digital fabric for the benefit of all. We are excited to support those people with our latest fund.”

The Vision of Fabric Ventures: An Open Economy

Today’s digital platforms, upon which citizen’s lives depend, are closed economies, centralizing data and power in the pursuit of profitability. Over time, these platforms cease to innovate for their users and protect their privacy. By contrast the new technologies support the open flow of users, data, and value, facilitating an Open Economy with equitable incentives and economic returns for all participants, leading to a fairer society.

Humankind’s greatest challenges and exciting opportunities require broad stakeholder collaboration. The software of the Open Web makes it easier than ever to kickstart these new, digital ecosystems and ensure that concentration of market power doesn’t lead to their corruption and demise. As these new equitable and inclusive digital networks and financial systems become pervasive and interconnected, we shall see the rise of a fairer and more Open Economy.

About the team: Natives of the Digital Ecosystem

Over the last two decades, the Fabric Ventures team has built companies in all phases of the web, such as Orchestream, the Honeycomb Project at Sun Microsystems, Tideway, RPX, Automic, Yoyo Wallet, and Orchid. The partnership is three strong with Richard Muirhead as Managing Partner, who has been working closely with Max Mersch for the last five years, and Anil Hansjee. Anil, who had been advising and investing alongside them, has recently joined full-time as a General Partner, leaving PayPal’s Venture Fund, which he led for EMEA, having seen first hand the increasing mainstream Corporate buy-in and Bitcoin emerging as a more viable funding source, making cryptocurrencies much more accessible. The team are native to digital assets, with experience in token design, market infrastructure, and community governance. Together they started the seed investment platform Firestartr in 2012, notably they backed companies such as Tray.io, Verse, Railsbank, Wagestream,  lead the due diligence and proof of reserves work at Bitstamp, and invested in (via their advisor roles to PE fund EQT) and led the automation specialist Automic, until its sale to CA Technologies. The team exists to be great hands-on partners to the next generation of founders.

Background information:

Since 2012, Fabric Ventures (initially as Firestartr) has backed the founders of the Open Economy. It focuses on being the “first institutional check” invested in companies, crypto assets and digital networks on a path to be global winners, identified primarily through its peerless pan-european footprint. The team has built companies to greater than $3 billion in value and holds operational and investing experience from Google, PayPal, Accel, eVentures, and EQT.

Fabric Ventures’ current portfolio includes Polkadot, NEAR Protocol, Sorare, Decentraland, Orchid, 1inch, Coinbase, Sky Mavis (the team behind Axie Infinity) and The Graph. Historically the team also invested in Tagomi, Bitstamp, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Maker, Supermetrics, Thimble, Bitrise, Railsbank, Wagestream, Citymapper, Tray.io, Pusher, Modulr, Codat, Shazam, Raisin, PPRO, Tink, (Transfer)Wise, iZettle, and many more incredible teams. For more information on our portfolio, opportunities or our thesis please see www.fabric.vc.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops both venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments, which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It provides first-loss guarantees enabling the EIB to invest in more and often riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI are expected to mobilise €546.5 billion in investment, supporting over 1.4 million start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises across the European Union.

InnovFin Equity is part of InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators, a generation of EU financial instruments and advisory services developed under Horizon 2020 to help innovative firms access finance more easily. "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" will help to inject around €50 billion in investments in Research and Innovation across Europe. InnovFin Equity provides equity investments and co-investments to or alongside funds focusing on early stage financing of enterprises operating in innovative sectors covered by Horizon 2020, located or active in the EU or Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access InnovFin and other brands of EU Finance: http://www.access2finance.eu/.

Press contacts:

European Investment Bank:

Tim Smit, Tel: +352 691 28 64 23, t.smit@eib.org, Follow us on Twitter@eif_eu

Website: www.eif.org - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

European Commission: Flora Matthaes, +32 460 755148, flora.matthaes@ec.europa.eu

Fabric VC: Georgia Hanias, Ecology Media, +(44) 7812 211 403, georgiahanias@ecologymedia.co.uk

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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