Sources say Web Summit Ventures will be a new $40M follow-on fund • TechCrunch

WebSummit, one of the world’s biggest events centered on tech startups, is launching an all-new venture capital vehicle comprised of two new funds, according to TechCrunch. The move follows an acrimonious row between the Web Summit co-founders, who launched the now-defunct Amaranthine VC fund in 2018, in part to join the burgeoning investment ecosystem that had grown around Web Summit events.

While it’s been Previously reported this co-founder of the Web Summit, Paddy Cosgravewill soon launch its new vehicle, Web Summit Ventures (WSV), whose nature and size of the fund have not, until now, been revealed.

TechCrunch understands that WSV will commission $40 million in funding, split into two $20 million funds. They will be dubbed “Web Summit Ventures Seed” and “Web Summit Ventures Growth” respectively. The seed fund will invest in the early stage and Series A, while the growth fund will invest in the “Series B and beyond” stages. Both will be “follow-on” funds and are not intended to lead funding rounds, sources say. This mirrors Amaranthine’s previous strategy.

Another confirmation of the existence of the funds comes in the form of a new job offer one-for-one advertising for the fund.

It is understood that WSV is set to replace Cosgrave’s previous attempt to enter the investment game, after the Amaranthine Ventures vehicle became embroiled in a series of byzantine legal fights between its founders and partners.

As previously reported in Irish media, documents filed at the Companies Registry Office in Dublin, Ireland, where Web Summit was originally launched, show that Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit, is listed as a director of Web Summit Ventures Management. ltd.

It is understood that only Cosgrave and Chris Murphy and will be partners of Web Summit Ventures. Murphy is a former Web Summit employee, who later worked for the Amaranthine Fund for nearly three years as Managing Director.

A well-placed source told TechCrunch that one of the main differences with the new WSV fund is that a number of tech founders will be joining as LPs, including some of the founders of Twitter, Tinder, N26, Checkout.com, Rappi, Algolia, Lightricks and Wise, as well as a handful of GPs from some venture capital funds who said they invest personally, although this has not been independently confirmed.

The story of Web Summit’s attempts to participate in the vast ecosystem of startups it was amassing begins in 2018.

The Amaranthine Fund was created by Cosgrave, Web Summit co-founder David Kelly, and fund manager Patrick Murphy in 2018. But while it has managed to back, among others, Hopin (the online event startup, the valuation of which soared to $5.6 billion during the remote working era of the pandemic) a series of bitter disagreements led Cosgrave to sue Kelly and Murphy in US courts.

The $50 million Amaranthine fund has since changed its name to Tapestry after the lawsuit has been filed.

But the acrimony is not limited to the United States.

Cosgrave is also suing Kelly in the Irish High Court. Kelly and Murphy deny the allegations, while Kelly is separately suing Cosgrave in the High Court for alleged oppression of minority shareholders. Cosgrave denies the allegations.

A spokesperson for Web Summit declined to comment on the launch of WSV, citing regulatory restrictions.