Fund Size as a Strategy
30 March 2021 by Mattias Ljungman
Posted on 29 March 2021 by Mattias Ljungman
European venture is changing before our eyes. Founders are scaling faster, right out of the gate, and the investment pace is breathtaking. What once took months is now taking weeks and financings are being done in a matter of days. Earlier this year we were the first money in for Humaans and our first cheque to them was a case in point.
Humaans, which speeds up staff onboarding and management, is HR for the 21st century.
Co-founders Giovanni Luperti and Karolis Narkevicius were already in growth mode when they founded the company in April 2020. They had launched the product and the customer signup speed was impressive. With two people, a product, customers and revenue, this was quickly becoming a scaling round. Here is what happened:
Jonas Bøgh Larsen, co-founder of Pento, an automated payroll company that reduces time spent on payroll to around two minutes per month, had introduced us to Humaans. Pento is also part of the Moonfire portfolio, and references from other founders that we rate highly mean a lot.
In our second meeting, Giovanni outlined appropriate terms. By our fourth, we issued a SAFE note. Everything was set, and then, only days later, Humaans got into Y Combinator. We told Giovanni he had to accept it, and we were happy to change the terms.
Humaans closed a pre-seed funding round with excellent co-investors. The team, which still consisted of just two people, continued executing and signing up more and more customers. Investors kept knocking on their door. We got term sheet after term sheet with the price going up. Giovanni did not need the money, but he thought that introducing the right investors could be game-changing. The calibre, network and ability to quickly close a financing made it all the more interesting for him.
Giovanni was executing by day and closing the financing by night. He worked around the clock, handling things like he had done this a thousand times before. His nerves of steel, grit, focus and a constant smile on his face made this look like light work from our side.
Eventually, Humaans announced its $5m Seed round. We were very proud to bring on board Lachy Groom, Frontline Ventures, LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner, Stripe’s Claire Hughes Johnson, Figma’s Dylan Field, Intercom’s Des Traynor, Workday’s David Clarke, Benchmark’s Scott Belsky, Notion’s Akshay Kothari, Qubit’s Emre Baran, Evervault’s Shane Curran and Stripe’s Gerardo Di Giacomo.
Read more about Humaans here.