Shilling, a venture capital firm based in Portugal, said today that it is increasing its “Founders Fund” to €52 million ($59 million), an increase of €22 million ($23 million) above the first announcement made last April. This fund is completely supported by private cash, which is significant for Europe, since VC firms are frequently backed by the somewhat limiting European Investment Fund. This makes it one of, if not the, largest private early-stage VC funds in Portugal (we’ll double-check later).
This fund closure, backed by investors such as Atomico, demonstrates national and international investors’ sustained strong interest in the Portuguese ecosystem. The Shilling Founders Fund, which was launched in April 2021, has two significant features: it is supported by more than 40 founder LPs, all of whom are successful Portuguese entrepreneurs; and it participates in the profit-sharing model by sharing fund returns with all of its portfolio founders. It also allows them to “pay it forward” to portfolio companies by providing support and guidance.
“More capital means more and larger tickets, and more capacity to follow-on on the best companies,” Pedro Santos Vieira, managing partner at Shilling, said in a statement. “This will help us be more competitive nationally and internationally, and continue attracting deals to Portugal using the Shilling Platform.”
“From the outset, we’ve invested in critical sectors like digital health, fintech, mobility, the future of work, and blockchain,” said Ricardo Jacinto, managing partner at Shilling. The fact that national and international investors are eager in contributing more capital to our Founders Fund verifies our hypothesis about how we can impact the ecosystem from founder to founder.”
“Luca’s investment, which was announced last week, was our largest and is an example of a company that relocated its headquarters to Portugal as a result of our investment.” He went on to say, “This is a crucial aspect of our value proposition and an obvious differentiating factor.” Shilling Founders Fund and Heartcore Capital sponsored a €2.7 million pre-seed fundraising round for Edtech Luca.
Hugo Gonçalves Pereira, António Casanova, Diogo da Silveira, Joo Coelho Borges, Juan Alvarez, and Pedro Rutkowski founded Shilling as a business angel club in 2011. Shilling has become one of the most active early-stage investors in Portugal and Spain. Ricardo Jacinto (Elecctro), Miguel Santo Amaro (Uniplaces/Coverflex), Pedro Ramalho Carlos (IP), and Pedro Santos Vieira are among the successful entrepreneurs (GoodGuide). Since its inception in 2011, Shilling has made 20 investments, including Unbabel, Uniplaces, Best Tables (acquired by The Fork), and Switch. Circular, Rows, Payze, Vitaance, Techstars alumnus Cargo Five, Detech.ai, and Relive are among the Shilling Founders Fund’s most recent investments.