Gideon Valkin – a former Monzo and ClearScore commercial leader, investor and entrepreneur – has launched Andrena Ventures.

The $12 million solo GP fund is backed by tech founders and VC leaders to capitalise on the ‘spin-off’ flywheel being seen across Europe. 

The fund has reached its first close with a final close planned for later in the year.  Its first investment is into Nustom, an AI-powered software-building startup from Monzo co-founding CTO Jonas Templestein. 

Just as the PayPal Mafia used experiences gained at the global payment pioneer to build the world’s biggest tech giants – from YouTube to Tesla, LinkedIn and Palantir – Valkin believes a similar flywheel is being seen across Europe today. According to Dealroom data, there are 10 FinTech unicorns in Europe that have spun out 145 new startups which have raised around $5 billion. 

The talent graduating from these disruptors have seen the challenges of scaling global companies first-hand and are now applying these unique experiences to building the next-generation of tech firms across all sectors. 

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Valkin has spent 15 years in this ecosystem as a founder, operator and investor, and has already backed some of the best teams to come out of it, both as an angel and as an investor at Entrée Capital. 

“Europe’s time has arrived,” he said. “A new power network of founding teams has emerged out of Europe’s first generation of industry-defining companies. 

“These teams are using their lessons and experiences to solve tomorrow’s most pressing and important problems across FinTech, AI, ClimateTech and enterprise software. 

“They deserve investors who understand these problems, believe in their ambitious vision and have the knowledge and know-how to truly support them.” 

The debut fund is backed by Entrée Capital; RTP Global; Taavet+Sten (co-founders of Wise and Teleport respectively); Cherry Ventures Managing Partners, Filip Dames, Christian Meerman, Sophia Bendz; David Haber, Fintech GP at Andreessen Horowitz; Firat Ileri, Managing Partner at Hummingbird Ventures etc. including at least seven VC investors who have featured on the Forbes Midas List. 

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