Yesterday, US VC firm General Catalyst and German early-stage VC La Famiglia announced they were merging. Jeannette zu Fürstenberg, founding partner of La Famiglia, will become managing director at GC and will help build out a global seed investment programme.
La Famiglia declined to give financial details of the deal — which is set to complete early next year — but Fürstenberg told Sifted “we’re not doing this for the financial outcome”. She said that the firms will be raising joint funds in the future.
Commentators were quick to suggest that this is unlikely to be the last such move we'll see.
"There was a big increase in the number of funds during the past few years, especially in some of the 'hot' spaces like climate — and I don’t think all of them will survive to raise subsequent funds, at which point they will think about options, one of which is merging," Andris Berzins, managing partner at Change Ventures, told me via WhatsApp.
"A lot of poorly differentiated SaaS funds are candidates for mergers right now," said one of those climate investors, Florent de Gantès, on LinkedIn.
Others pointed out that it could be a good way for US firms to grow their teams in Europe quickly — however, not all US firms want to expand their footprint here. At the Sifted Summit earlier this month, Alex Ferrara from Bessemer told us his firm has no plans to hugely grow its team in Europe.
So, which other US VCs are new enough to the market — and keen enough on the market — to bother? Lightspeed already has people in France and Germany — and is doing plenty of deals. Andreessen Horowitz? ICONIQ? IVP?
Or — maybe — it will be European VCs buying other European VCs.
Finally, perhaps the biggest question of all is: which seed funds would have something so unique that a later-stage or bigger firm would rather buy them than hire their own early-stage team?
You tell me.
A final hot take on the deal from a friend of Sifted? "They got to liquidity faster than their portfolio companies."
– Amy, editor