LONDON, September 25th, 2023
Dawn Capital, Europe’s leading specialist B2B software investor, today announces it has raised $700m to invest in the next generation of global software leaders.
The fundraise includes the $620m flagship fund Dawn V, the largest dedicated early-stage B2B software fund ever raised in Europe. Dawn V will back European software innovators at Series A and B stage with initial investments of $10m to $40m, and provide capital for follow-on rounds.
The new capital also comprises an $80m follow-on fund, Dawn Opportunities III: a later-stage fund raised to strengthen Dawn’s ability to invest in its sector winners from Series C stage onwards. Together, the funds will enable the firm to continue to back European B2B software companies from Series A all the way to exit.
Milestone funds build on a market-leading track record
Dawn was acknowledged as Europe’s top-performing venture capital fund manager by Preqin in 2023, and all the firm’s funds continually rank in the top quartile for venture capital performance globally.
Since launching in 2007, Dawn has raised over $2bn from leading global investors to invest in best-of-breed European B2B software. The firm has invested in more than 80 category-leading companies founded across 16 European countries, including multi-$bn leaders Mimecast (formerly NASDAQ-listed, taken private by Permira in a $5.8bn transaction), iZettle (sold to PayPal for $2.2bn cash), Tink (purchased by Visa for $2.0bn), LeanIX (recently acquired by SAP), and current established unicorns Collibra, Dataiku and Quantexa.
Dawn has become the go-to European B2B software investor through offering founders not only access to capital but invaluable mentorship, depth of experience, strategic guidance and a unique founder community. The entirety of Dawn’s 35-person, multilingual and multi-faceted team is dedicated to the success of every portfolio company. The team offers wide-ranging expertise, connection to an extensive network of industry leaders and a hands-on approach to helping companies successfully scale across Europe, the US and globally.
Vishal Marria, CEO and Founder at Quantexa, said: “Dawn is an invaluable partner to have on side. The firm has brought huge value and insights to our business, and the team is deeply invested in our success at all levels. Dawn has invested in Quantexa through both its flagship and opportunities funds, participating in every follow-on round and helping us scale to reach our goals. I’m delighted to see this latest fundraise and excited for all the other European founders now set to benefit from Dawn’s tremendous support, expertise and community.”
Dawn V in action: Powering category-defining European B2B startups
Using Dawn V and Dawn Opportunities III, the firm will double down on its established strategy of backing world-class founders building category-defining software across the technology stack, from infrastructure to end-user applications. As with previous funds, Dawn’s team will focus on companies driving significant long-term value and seismic shifts for enterprise over the next decade and beyond.
The B2B software market is worth over $1trn annually and the ecosystem in Europe has never been deeper and richer. Innovation continues apace as every business is becoming a software business. The opportunities are global, but building from Europe offers significant structural advantages to businesses over time. As well as access to deep pools of competitively-priced talent, European companies lay strong foundations early in the journey for international expansion, whilst regulatory leadership creates natural advantages for companies to scale platforms that exploit emerging technologies such as AI. Dawn’s new funds will continue to invest in the best-of-the-best European founders standing at the forefront of these technology innovations that are driving monumental platform shifts.
The firm has already made three exciting investments from Dawn V. Dawn has backed the exceptional founding teams at tax compliance platform, Fonoa, embedded insurance platform, Cover Genius, and application modernisation platform, FlowX.AI. These startups exemplify the type of companies Dawn is looking to support: companies delivering strong traction with market-leading products and the ability to capture multi-$bn global market opportunities.
Haakon Overli, General Partner at Dawn Capital, said: “Over the last 18 months, we have all witnessed the challenging macro environment. We founded Dawn to support founders building global B2B software leaders from Europe, and this ethos has not changed. We firmly believe it is a great point in the cycle to be investing and see the opportunity in Europe only increasing. Our two decades of experience have shown us that companies forged in challenging times are forced to deliver even more value, with compelling propositions and deep-rooted resilience. Our new funds will enable us to remain laser focused on opportunities, with the capital to meaningfully support founders from Series A to exit. We can’t wait to see where our future entrepreneurs take us with our new funds and greatly appreciate the support of all our investors, team and founders.”
Norman Fiore, General Partner at Dawn Capital, said: “We are at the very beginning of another major technology shift. As our entrepreneurs like to remind us, AI has been around for a long time. The change today is that AI has pushed its way from the engineering teams into the boardroom. Its coming prevalence makes it both an investment area in itself as well as a disruptor to every software category we’ve been investing in since we founded Dawn. We were therefore determined to raise funds of commensurate scale to the enormous opportunity before us.”
Closing top-tier investors in a challenging environment: Head of IR & Marketing, Hannah Gubbins, promoted to Partner
The new flagship fund closed at its ‘hard cap’ earlier this year, with 50% of commitments raised from existing LPs and 50% from new investors across the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Investors in the fund include leading sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, endowments, funds of funds, family offices and high net-worth individuals, as well as Dawn’s portfolio founders.
Today the firm is thrilled to announce the promotion of Hannah Gubbins, Head of Investor Relations and Marketing, to Partner on the back of this notable fundraise and her overall contributions to Dawn. Since joining the team from Inflexion Private Equity in April 2020, Hannah has played a pivotal role in informing Dawn’s strategy and raising the firm’s profile among global investors. Dawn’s entire Partnership has been promoted from within, and Hannah’s appointment further demonstrates the firm’s long-held commitment to nurturing internal talent.
Hannah Gubbins, Partner at Dawn Capital, said: “I’m honoured to have joined Dawn’s Partnership, and it is incredibly rewarding to be part of a firm that continually champions and recognises team members’ contributions and achievements. Our promise to European entrepreneurs is that we will support them to scale their products, teams and capabilities and expand into new global markets. With our newly raised funds, we will invest further in our platform to best support our portfolio companies over the coming decade, from expanding our pool of advisors to adding to our in-house talent offering. We are also transforming Dawn into a data-led business to harness the power of technology to make us a better investor. Today, we are entering a new cycle of ambitious investment at Dawn, and I am excited to continue building our legacy.”