January 1 2021 • 5min read

20 Highlights From 2020 ⭐

You don’t need us to tell you how last year presented challenges that most of us could have never dreamed of. What we will tell you, though, is that we couldn’t be more proud of the resilience of our own team, of our founders and our portfolio companies in seeing the year through – and with some absolutely fantastic results and growth.

1. 💸 We invested c.$110m in 2020 – a new record for us!

2. 🤝 We used this capital to back 14 cool new companies, including:

3. 🙌 We supported our existing portfolio in 13 follow-on rounds. 

4. 💻We made four key hires (even if some of them did join us remotely!): Cecilia Manduca joined our investment team as Analyst; Michaela Rowan was hired as Finance and IR Assistant; Ellie Crocker joined as Marketing Manager and Emily Whitby was hired as Office Assistant. We’ve also since had two new recruits, Charles Archambeau and Serena Taylor, join us to take their first steps in venture!
 
5. 🎉On top of that – we made some exciting promotions within our existing team. Tom Williams became PartnerBeatrice Aliprandi and Kirill Tasilov became Principals, and Emily Wood became our Chief of Staff.

6. 👊We saw our portfolio excel, despite the challenges presented by a global pandemic – a special mention to a few companies who saw significant growth this year:

        7. 🆔Onfidothe digital identity verification provider, raised $100 million from TPG and Talis Capital and hired a new CEO to take the company to IPO.

        8. 📈Similarly, Pricefx – the modular SaaS solution for price optimisation management – raised a mammoth $65 million Series C from Apax Digital to further its expansion and solidify its market-leading position. 

        9. 👩‍🍳 DayDayCook, the Chinese cooking multimedia platform, raised $20m in Series C funding from Talis Capital and Ironfire Ventures to step up its expansion. Read why we invested 

        10. 🐛Ynsect, which is building the world’s biggest bug farm, announced its $224 million Series C extension, raised from Astanor Ventures, Upfront Ventures and Robert Downey Jr.’s investment vehicle The Footprint Coalition. This brought the total amount raised by the company to $425m: more than the entire alternative insect protein sector globally.

11. 🚧 Beatrice Aliprandi mapped out the construction sector’s route to innovation.

12. 💁‍♀️Beatrice Aliprandi also explored the untapped opportunities that the healthcare sector presents for female-focused innovation.

13. 🎓 Cecilia Manduca and Thomas Williams explored the vast world of edtech, and the paradigm shift that COVID has instigated for the education sector.

14. 🔎We interviewed six of our wonderful founders for our Founder Spotlight series. More of this to come next year!

15.✊We launched our Office Hours initiative and held over 100 Office Hours to help underrepresented early-stage founders get access to advice on fundraising, sound out ideas, troubleshoot problems and gain feedback from our investment team. Check back here for 2021 dates 

16. 🧠We launched the Talis Knowledge Hub: a one-stop shop for founders from pre-seed to Series B, providing a library of high quality, curated resources, gathered from experts across the VC and tech sectors.

17. 📺 Our managing partner Vasile Foca sat down with Darktrace’s Nicole Eagan and the New York Times’ Don Clark at Web Summit, discussing how we helped to build the AI cyber powerhouse that is Darktrace. We’ll be publishing the interview soon! 

18. 🔮We refined our investment thesis for 2021, and explored some subthemes that are particularly interesting to us for our next fund, including regtech, edtech, sustainability and gaming.

19. 💆We launched a mental health support programme for our founders – and spoke to Forbes about the inherent responsibility that investors have in supporting their founders, both professionally and personally. We’re launching the next step of the programme in the coming weeks.

20. 💪Celebrated the outstanding work of our portfolio companies who have gone above and beyond to not only scale their own businesses, but to remedy the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on those most affected. You can read more on these initiatives here and here. 

Thank you – here’s to 2021! 🎉

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