Home Venture Capital Saul Klein’s VC Firm LocalGlobe Rebrands and Raises $500 Million

Saul Klein’s VC Firm LocalGlobe Rebrands and Raises $500 Million

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  • Saul Klein’s VC firm LocalGlobe has relaunched as Phoenix Court Group after raising $500 million.
  • The veteran VC believes Europe can be a “new Palo Alto” as investor appetite on the continent grows.
  • The firm will now oversee four separate funds that invest in startups from pre-seed to scale-up.

British venture capital veteran Saul Klein has revamped his investment firm after it raised $500 million in fresh funds to back startups across Europe.

Klein has invested in an array of top-tier startups at an early stage such as trading app Robinhood and payments firm Wise through his VC firm LocalGlobe, which has been rebranded to Phoenix Court Group.

The revamp goes beyond the new moniker with the investor broadening its focus to make bets on founders across all stages of the startup growth cycle, including their entry into public markets.

Europe’s startup ecosystem has evolved from a hub for early-stage startups to the “new Palo Alto,” according to Klein who said the shift had been 20 years in the making.

The region is home to a swathe of multi-billion dollar startups, including struggling buy now, pay later giant Klarna, London-based fintech Revolut, and online payments firm Checkout.com. 

For Klein, the “new Palo Alto” region – which he describes as European regions within a four-hour train ride of London – has been underserved by investors, particularly at scale-up stages, leaving a funding gap that is not sufficiently filled when compared to the US and China.

“It took 20 years to get to the starting line and now it gets interesting in this geography,” Klein told Insider. “All of this for us ties together in this vision for what the next 20 years of investing in innovation can be about, particularly what this ecosystem which we call New Palo Alto.”

Phoenix Court Group now oversees four separate funds. Its four funds include seed and pre-seed focused LocalGlobe, Basecamp, a community of over 50 early-stage investors, Latitude, an investment vehicle for early growth stage companies, as well as scale-up fund Solar, which will support businesses all the way through to public markets, with the firm looking to hold onto stakes in businesses as they list.

The shift from Klein’s VC firm to become a “life stage” tech investor after building its reputation as a seed specialist is the latest move by a VC to restructure their approach to fund management in a bid to capture opportunities in both young and more mature companies.

Heavyweight VC firm Sequoia has hired a number of general partners in Europe over the past year to back startups in the continent, with the firm’s Sequoia Fund targeting investments at both seed and growth stages. 

The $500 million raised marks an initial close for Phoenix Court Group, which will continue to have conversations with limited partners about raising new funds to invest into startups from seed stages onwards in what it describes as “the world’s third-largest innovation ecosystem”.

Despite the current market downturn that has wiped billions off the valuations of several tech companies, Klein remains optimistic about LP appetite for investment into VC funds given the longer-term horizon over which startup investments are made.

“Those that can’t see beyond the next 2 years shouldn’t be investing in this asset class, shouldn’t be investing in science technology, or innovation because the innovation dividend is 10-20 years from now, not 10 days from now,” he said.

Phoenix Group Court’s investment team now comprises 13 partners after hiring Paul Bishop from the private markets team at UK pension fund Railpen, and will continue to expand as it eyes opportunities in sectors such as Web3 and enterprise infrastructure.

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