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Early Spotify Investor Raises $300 Million for Young Startups

Natalia Drozdiak

(Bloomberg) -- Creandum, an early investor in Spotify Technology SA and iZettle AB, has raised a 265 million euro ($300 million) fund, in a bid to find and back Europe’s next tech superstars.

With offices in Stockholm, Berlin and San Francisco, the venture capital fund returned more than $800 million to investors last year after exits from previous investments, such as Spotify, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange, and Small Giant Games, which was acquired by Zynga Inc.

With it’s fifth and latest fund, Creandum will continue to target early-stage investments in so-called seed and A rounds in areas including food, health tech, mobility, fintech as well as logistics, manufacturing software and energy.

"We try to continue to stay small, despite a chance to raise more money," Johan Brenner, the general partner at Creandum, said in an interview, adding the fund’s backers are comprised of 26 investors, including pension funds, endowments and family offices in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

Creandum turned away some investors to keep the fund small, Brenner says, adding that it would help "to focus on the early stage, where we think the best investments can be made and the best returns can be made for our investors."

While a larger fund would allow the firm to make many more small investments, Creandum wouldn’t have the time to support the investments and the management, resulting in lower returns, Brenner said. Creandum said it has already made some investments through the new fund that are yet to be announced.

Creandum’s fund size compares to peers that have raised much larger pools of capital. Accel, an early investor in Slack Technologies Inc., in May announced it has raised a $575 million fund aimed at nascent companies in Europe and Israel. While European insurer Allianz SE unveiled in February it was increasing the size of its tech investment fund to 1 billion euros.

The Creandum II fund, which started in 2007, has returned about 1,000 percent. The fund in May 2018 sold its stake in iZettle to PayPal Holdings Inc. It was also one of the first institutional investors in Spotify in 2008.

(Added context on Creandum II fund.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Molly Schuetz

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