Debut manager 33N Ventures has partnered with Alantra to launch a EUR 150m cybersecurity VC fund that is aiming for a close in Q1 2023, partner Carlos Moreira da Silva told Unquote.
The fund will be led by Moreira da Silva alongside Carlos Alberto Silva, with EUR 20m already committed by Alantra and its strategic partners.
"In other geographies like the US and Israel this kind of cybersecurity specialist fund is already salient," said Moreira da Silva, adding in Europe the fund's space is still an emerging ecosystem.
Other funds tend to focus on the early stages, he said, where 33N will invest in Series A and B when companies start to internationalize and need the network of a pan-European fund.
"It's a very competitive market so European start-ups need the specialist support to compete at the same level as their peers," he added.
Bringing in Alantra as a partner and cornerstone investor allows Portugal-based 33N to access the asset manager's fundraising capabilities. "We bring the sector expertise and thanks to Alantra we're already able to invest, said Moreira da Silva.
Alantra said that the launch is another step in the growth of its highly specialised venture capital practice, adding to its existing strategies in energy transition (Klima) and life sciences (Asabys), where it has EUR 400m in assets under management.
Both founders previously worked at Sonae IM, the tech investment arm of Portuguese conglomerate Sonae, and have made over 20 investments in cybersecurity and infrastructure software.
The vehicle will deploy average tickets of EUR 10m across around 14 platform investments in cybersecurity and infrastructure software companies in Europe, Israel and the US with ARR of between EUR 1m and EUR 10m.
It is interested in new technologies, plus solutions that decrease the complexity of adoption and tools that help give an overall picture of cybersecurity risk.
An example is application security, as many are being developed at a greater pace and distributed to more people.
Cybersecurity is an increasingly fundamental sector as businesses and states need to be efficient and safe in the fast adoption of digitalisation, he said, adding that there is a huge gap in spending between the Europe and US.
A slight market correction to valuations in the space also creates opportunities for teams like 33N, said Moreira da Silva, who are close to those companies and can act in an agile way.
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