London VC That Backed Gwyneth Paltrow Raises $150 MillionBy
Investor appetite strong despite Brexit, Felix Capital says
France, U.S., biggest markets as less startups move to London
Felix Capital Partners, a London-based venture-capital firm that’s backed Gwyneth Paltrow’s fashion brand Goop and online food service Frichti, raised $150 million to expand its portfolio focused on Europe and the U.S.
The fund was oversubscribed “well in excess” of $200 million, showing no sign of being impacted by Brexit, founder Frederic Court said in an interview. The VC focused on offers from institutional investors and plans to use the money to grab stakes in early-stage startups that tap into the growth of digital brands. Court declined to name Felix’s investors.
“Customers are attracted to brands that resonate online -- that’s the secular trend we’re eyeing, as well as anything related to well-being and technology helping you be happier or more fit.” Court said. While Brexit will help tech hubs other than London emerge, as less entrepreneurs create their business in the U.K., Felix already invests mostly in French and U.S. startups and won’t change its strategy, he said.
The fundraising is Felix’s second after a 2015 round of $120 million that was backed by Unilever NV, French luxury retail group Galeries Lafayette, and billionaire telecommunications tycoon Xavier Niel. Felix has funded Business of Fashion, an industry news site, and online fashion curator Farfetch, which sells clothing but also includes editorial content like wardrobe tips.
It’s seeking investments typically $2 million to $5 million per funding round, though it’s open to spending $10 million or more. Paltrow’s Goop, which combines e-commerce with blog entries about topics like wellness and health, is one example of the online branding businesses Felix is interested in.
With the tech sector broadly suffering a selloff from investors in recent weeks amid pricey valuations, Court said he doesn’t think disruptive companies like Amazon.com Inc. are overvalued given their prospects in the long-run.
“If I were to disappear for 10 years, I’d rather buy Amazon stock before I go than leave my money in the bank,” Court said. “There’s still momentum for disruptive companies. We’re not over-worried about valuations.”