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Wise co-founder launches €250m fund for tech founders in Europe

The investment platform’s founders say it is designed for ‘unemployables’ like themselves who have already seen success as founders.


Ian Hogarth, Sten Tamkivi, Khaled Helioui, Taavet Hinrikus (L-R)/Plural.

A new investment platform by founders for founders is launching today along with a €250m early stage venture fund.

Plural, set up by Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, and a number of founders, is a scalable investment platform consisting of exclusively former founders and operators with company building experience.

According to Plural, just eight per cent of investors in Europe are former operators, compared to more than 50 per cent in the US.

The founders have created Plural as a solution to this issue, to help the next generation of founders build companies with the backing of experienced founders.

“We’re the investors we would have liked to have when we were building our own companies,” Hinrikus said.

“Founding a company is a craft and the best way to learn that craft is to work alongside those who have done it before.”

The company intents to be a “more hands-on investor” with a focus on leading early-stage rounds between €1 and €10m.

Plural’s other co-founders include Songkick co-founder Ian Hogarth, Bigpoint CEO Khaled Helioui and Teleport co-founder Sten Tamkivi.

“We call experienced founders 'unemployables', because once you've experienced the intense authorship that comes with creating something new it's hard to work for anyone again,” Hogarth said.

“We created Plural to give unemployables a place to call home and put their entrepreneurial energy behind missions and founders they deeply believe in.”

Between the four founders that have been revealed so far, they have founder four startups and played significant roles in building three companies, Skype, video game developer Bigpoint and global talent mobility platform Topia.

All four have also been angel investors for years, and as part of Plural have invested in 14 companies.

“So much opportunity is left untapped today as exceptional founders often fail to meet standard investors’ pattern recognition criteria,” Helioui said.

“Sadly investors lack the risk appetite needed to fulfil founders’ ambitions and consequently the full impact founders seek can not be realised. 

“By changing the funding mechanisms that act as conservative gatekeepers today we can unlock so much potential,” he added.

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