We will continue to go for Series A & B rounds in European scale-ups. From our first fund, we invested in companies like Beekeeper, Crisp, Farewill, and Rescale. In Fund II we will invest €5 — to €10 million per company.
At KEEN we invest with a thesis framework that gives a scenario view on the future. The team permanently runs ‘thesis sprints’ in which it looks for transformational shifts allowing us to identify promising companies better, or dare I say - Keener. If you can’t outrun a Tiger — bring something sharp.
But perhaps what we’re best known for is our philosophy of being ‘radically human’. This comes from a strong belief that high degrees of trust between people make for lower transaction costs. No, this is not a blockchain reference.
So when we approach entrepreneurs we first try to forge meaningful relationships prior to investing. We do so by helping out. This could be something small and tactical, like benchmarking a cohort model, or more strategic by helping land a dream partnership deal. All before an investment is even discussed. This way, an entrepreneur can test KEEN’s capabilities and network before getting us on the cap-table. At the same time, more trust boosts our conviction allowing us to invest fast and friendly.
Speaking of radical humans!
We have also expanded our team. We’re proud to welcome Charles van den Bergh, Djoni de Vos, and Abdul Afridi. The team is now strengthened with a Belgian who does not like chocolate, a former strategy wonk who does stand-up comedy, and a hip hop-loving gourmet burger enthusiast, who is trying to repent for his days as a city I-banker. They're smart, personable, and have promised us to go light on LinkedIn cringe. We’re proud to have them join team KEEN.
KEEN II is now at €120m and well on the way to the target of €150m (with a final close some time in ‘22). So far, the second fund has been raised from new and existing investors with a strong mix of institutional investors, family offices, and tech entrepreneurs. These include the European Investment Fund, KPN Ventures, and several well-known founders of companies like Just-eat Takeaway.com, Adyen, and TomTom. With some of these people, our place was on the other side of the table in a previous life. Now we’re proud to report to them! More importantly, they help us support the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Hope you’re ready for the next episode!