Playfair Capital, a London, UK-based seed venture capital firm, launched its second fund.
With $32m to invest over the next three to five years, the fund is seeking early-stage companies across all sectors, with a focus on deep tech (artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision), B2B SaaS and marketplaces. Its initial cheque size is $500k but the team engages with founders at the earliest stages of their journey, sometimes investing smaller amounts at the pre-seed stage.
Founded in 2013 by Federico Pirzio-Biroli, joined by partner Chris Smith, who takes over management of the fund from Georgia Taylor Foster, Playfair Capital is an early-stage firm that combines angel investing with with the formal structure of a fund that is able to write larger cheques, make follow-on investments and has a bigger team and wider network of contacts.
During 2019, Playfair will develop this approach with several initiatives including inviting angels who want to work more closely with the fund to take space in its Farringdon headquarters.
To date, the firm has invested in more than 50 companies including Stripe, Ravelin, Thought Machine, CryptoFacilities and Mapillary, as well as marketplace for independent boutiques Trouva and real estate marketplace Appear Here.
Smith was latterly at fast growing B2B telecommunications company plan.com, where he held senior roles including Sales Director, Head of Tech/BI and Head of Product Development.
As an angel investor, he has made 14 investments across the UK and US with three exits to date – Nearbuy Systems (acquired by RetailNext), MoPowered (LON:MPM) and Bidstack (LON:BIDS).
Smith will work with Joe Thornton, who has been with Playfair Capital for almost four years, and Henrik Wetter-Sanchez, who joins as an associate from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.