Tech investor Playfair Capital announces $32M second fund


Playfair Capital will continue to invest in promising early-stage tech startups, following the recent announcement of a $32 million second fund.

The U.K. seed investor was founded in 2013 by Federico Pirzio-Biroli. Pirzio-Biroli is the fund II’s sole LP and is an early investor in the likes of Stripe, CryptoFacilities, Ravelin, Thought Machine and Mapillary.

Though Pirzio-Biroli recently re-located to Kenya, he will still act as Chairman of Playfair Capital. The day-to-day amnagment of the fund, however, will be handled by Chris Smith, who recently joined as a Partner. He’s been an active angel investor for over ten years.

Smith previously worked for, the fast growing B2B telecommunications company. There, he held senior roles including Sales Director, Head of Tech/BI and Head of Product Development. He has made 14 angel investments across the U.K. and U.S..

Today, Playfair Capital has backed over 50 founding teams, and plans to invest the new $32 million fund over the next three to five years. The firm will invest in early-stage companies across all sectors, focusing particularly on deep tech — artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision — and B2B SaaS and marketplaces.

Playfair’s initial cheque size is typically $500,000, although the team like to engage with founders at the earliest stages of a startup’s journey and occasionally invests in smaller amounts at the pre-seed stage.

Pirzio-Biroli said in a statement: “I’m delighted to be announcing Chris’s hire and the launch of Playfair’s Fund II. Our new investment team has great hands-on experience with startups and a track record of backing founders early and enthusiastically. The U.K. has proved a rich hunting ground for Playfair Capital, providing 80 percent of our current portfolio. With the new fund we will seek out startups that use deep tech and data to create a defensible proposition that has longevity. We are hugely excited about opportunities in the deep tech, SaaS and marketplace segments where we have already demonstrated success”.