Arma is the latest European seed fund in the new wave of VC funds.


If you’re planning to start a new startup in France, Denmark or Sweden, there’s a new seed fund that needs your pitch. ARMA is announcing today that it has raised nearly $54 million for its new European Seed Fund. And this is only the first close – the company expects to collect up to 80 million dollars (€ 75 million) by the end of the year.

Logo was created by Benedite de Raffaeles Soissant and Guillaume Durao. Being an entrepreneur herself, Benedite de Raffaeles Soissanne is not the first time her name has appeared on TechCruch. I covered the startup Cluster in 2014.

Cluster was a talent management and staffing platform acquired by Cornerstone OnDemand. Some business angels like Frédéric Montagnon and Florian Douette were very helpful in Clustre’s direction, so after selling Clustre she started investing in start-ups herself.

Guillaume Durao has been an investor for several years. He worked for Mangrove Capital Partners and EdInvest (a VC firm now part of Eurazeo). Both partners are of French origin, while Durao has worked in Denmark and is active in the Nordic tech ecosystem. He also invested his own money as a business angel.

Prior to launching Arma, Durao and de Raffaeles Soissons had built an impressive portfolio of angel investments. They have invested in crypto trading card game Sorare, pet insurance startup Dalma and meat company Gourmey. In addition to French startups, they have also invested in Groblox and All Gravy in Denmark, Arch Capital and Goals in Sweden, among others.

The next logical step is an actual seed fund with more capital. Arma seeks to lead or co-lead seed investments with regular investments between €500,000 and €3 million. In total, the firm wants to invest in 25 to 30 technology companies through its seed fund.

While Logo lists a few verticals like AI, B2B SaaS, fintech, the future of work and digital health, the organization doesn’t pay particular attention to certain industries. It is a general technology seed fund.

As for the company’s backers, Imlem has raised money from Danish sovereign fund Vaxtfonden, institutional investors such as Edenred, several French and Nordic family offices, and tech entrepreneurs looking for investment opportunities. Some of the entrepreneurs who have invested in Arma include the founders of 3shape, Dixa, Falcon, Kantox, Peakon, PeopleDoc, Planday, Pleo, Qonto, Silae, Spendesk, Swile and Zendesk.

There are two things that make Emblem stand out from other French VC firms. It focuses primarily on French startups, but also Swedish and Danish startups. “Paris, Copenhagen and Stockholm are the three most exciting start-up hubs after London and Berlin,” Benedite de Raffaeles Soisson told me.

Second, Illem does not want to be an early-stage fund that invests in Series A rounds or later. Of course, the company allocates a portion of the funds to ongoing investments in existing portfolio companies – but that’s about it.

“We are going to have a special focus on seeding. The idea is not to raise a large fund and start investing in Serie A rounds,” said de Raffaeles Soissons.

A new wave of micro-funds in Europe

It is difficult to define what micro-funding is. As more VC firms start raising bigger and bigger funds, it all starts to look like a micro-fund.

Logo is more than micro-funds. But there are quite a few individuals raising €5 million, €10 million or €15 million in new funds under management. Just as many successful investors started VC investing with their own micro-funds in the US a few years ago, a similar trend is now emerging in Europe.

In my conversation with Benedite de Raffaeles Soissons, we talked about some of these new currencies. For example, Anthony Danone and Carmen Alfonso Rico were very active with cocoa. Gloria Bauerlein is behind a new fund called Beyond Capital. Pietro Invernizzi is currently raising his own funds.

I’ve covered some of the biggest funds that have popped up in the last year or so, such as Resonance, Ovni Capital and Galion.exe. And then, there’s also Teampact Ventures and Origins.

While we are currently in a technological slump, it is interesting to see that they exist. More Options for early stage funding in Europe. And each fund has its own investment research. These new partners can tap into their own networks, which should create more opportunities for the technology ecosystem as a whole.


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