InReach Ventures, the so-called “AI-powered” venture capital firm based in London, is announcing the first closing of a new €53 million fund targeting early-stage European technology companies — surpassing the original fund target of €50 million, apparently. Founded by former Bald…
InReach Ventures, the so-called “AI-powered” venture capital firm based in London, is announcing the first closing of a new €53 million fund targeting early-stage European technology companies — surpassing the original fund target of €50 million, apparently.
Founded by former Balderton Capital General Partner Roberto Bonanzinga, along with Ben Smith (former U. K. Engineering Director at Yammer) and John Mesrie (former General Counsel at Balderton Capital), InReach set out in 2015 to use technology to help scale VC, especially across Europe’s idiosyncratic and highly fragmented market.
The firm’s proprietary software-based approach, which is underpinned by machine learning, claims to be able to generate and evaluate deal-flow more efficiently than traditional venture firms that mostly employ human VCs alone — although, admittedly, practically every VC firm is underpinned by some eliminate of data science and/or technology these days. Berlin’s Fly VC is another machine learning-enabled early-stage VC that comes to mind.
However, InReach certainly appears to be putting its money where its mouth is, disclosing that it has invested over €3 million in the development of its software, codenamed “DIG”. To back this up, Bonanzinga tells me the firm employs “more software engineers than investors”. (I saw an early demo of the software a couple of years ago and even then it seemed legit.)
Regards the new fund, Bonanzinga says InReach is targeting the most promising and innovative startups across Europe, primarily in the areas of consumer internet, software as a service and marketplaces. “We are geographically agnostic and will invest in companies anywhere in Europe, from Helsinki to Barcelona, from Warsaw to Rome,” he says. “In most cases we will be the first institutional investors and our first cheques will be between €500,000 and €2 million”.
To date, InReach Ventures has invested in eight startups from across Europe. They include Oberlo (Lithuania), which was subsequently acquired by Shopify, Soldo (Italy/UK), Tutorful (U. K.), Shapr3D (Hungary), Traitly (Sweden) and Loot (Germany).
Below follows a lightly edited Q&A with Bonanzinga on the new fund, how AI can be used to scale venture capital, and why machines won’t put VCs out of a job entirely any time soon.
TC: You have often said that venture capital doesn’t scale, especially across a fragmented market like Europe, but what do you mean by this?
RB: People get very excited about ecosystems but the data shows that startups can come from anywhere; the big technology hubs or more remote locations.

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