VC Interview: Samaipata

Samaipata’s Founding Partners are founders with a previous history together. They previously met and worked together at La Nevera Roja: José as the Co-Founder & CEO and Eduardo as early investor and key advisor. In April 2015, José sold the company to Rocket Internet for $100 million . Soon after the two came together, founding Samaipata and making their first investment into Deporvillage by the end of 2015.

On top of founding a 3D sound system company sold to Dolby and being a prolific business angel, Eduardo is also the Chairman and early Business Angel at Másmóvil Group, a multi-billion Spanish telecom operator.

What Is Your Fund’s Investment Criteria?

Samaipata is an early stage founders’ fund investing in digital businesses with network effects across Europe. With over $150 million under management, we back ambitious founders from our offices in Paris, Madrid and London.

We invest in the early stages of a startup’s life (typically pre-Series A at the pre-Seed and Seed stages), in all types of sectors and B2B & B2C industries.

We typically like to lead rounds but are open for co investment opportunities. We are currently deploying our 2nd fund. We start with investments of €500,000 to €2,000,000 and reserve up to €10,000,000 for future rounds in our potential “winners”.

What Is a Typical Deal Samaipata is Involved In?

We have invested in c.35 startups across Europe, spanning a wide range of industries including Fintech, Proptech, Artificial Intelligence etc. It is very difficult to single out one investment, but we could highlight the following:

  • Matera is a French Software-as-a-service platform that facilitates the management of homeowners’ communities by allowing co-owners to become their own property managers. They are now servicing 6,000 buildings in France and Germany.
  • Legl is a UK-based platform for law firms to streamline core business processes such as customer onboarding, due diligence and payments. They are now servicing 170+ law firms including 20 of the Top 200 firms in the UK.
  • Retraced is a German based B2B platform that drives traceability, transparency, and sustainability of the supply chain in the fashion industry. They now have 80 international fashion manufacturers as clients across Europe.



What Has Been The Performance to Date of Samaipata’s First Fund?

So far, we have raised two funds. Fund I (€30 million), raised in 2016, is already fully invested, with 17 startups in the portfolio. We are currently deploying Fund II (€110 million), on which we have already made 16 investments.

We have already made two successful exits in our first Fund: we sold FoodCheri (a French meal delivery platform) to Sodexo and Deporvillage (an e-commerce platform for sports enthusiasts) to SRG (a subsidiary of JD Sports), for amounts that have already generated substantial returns for our LPs. Overall, we have first quartile performance.

Additionally, startups in our portfolio have raised more than €350 million after our entry from top tier VC managers from the US and Europe, such as Atomico, KPCG, Index Ventures, Northzone and Bessemer Venture Partners among others. We work closely with them to help portfolio companies scale internationally.

What Tangible Aspects, Beyond The Financial Investment Itself Does Samaipata Provide?

Beyond financial input, we strive to help the startups in the portfolio in every way we can, not only by giving the best of ourselves (we are a team of 15 people distributed across Europe) but also through Samaipata’s Founder-support platform and community, The Hive, where entrepreneurs find the right support and resources to make better and faster business decisions.

The Hive connects Founders and key stakeholders in a strong and empowered community, through which we hand over a world class set of services to portfolio companies, helping them to tackle typically early stage talents such as hiring talent, raising subsequent funds or structuring their B2B sales team. To do so, we rely not only on our own experience but also on the collaboration of highly qualified operating partners for the different areas of a company. Our network of Operating Partners includes current operators in top European companies such as Microsoft, Sorare and AirBnb.

At the end of the day, we are a fund of entrepreneurs who have not long ago been in the shoes of the founders we back. We know that it takes much more than capital to achieve our Founders’ ambitions.