How Leadwind, backed by Telefónica Tech-VC Fund, plans to invest - New Style Motorsport

  • Leadwind is a technology venture capital fund, launched by K Fund and Telefónica in September 2021.
  • It recently announced that it closed its first fundraiser for €140 million.
  • Miguel Arias, a partner at K Fund, spoke to Insider about the plans for the fund.

This is an edited and translated version of an article which originally appeared on April 20, 2022.

Leadwind is a venture capital fund that K Fund and Telefónica launched to invest in growing technology startups.

The two groups launched Leadwind in September and recently closed their first round of funding, raising €140 million.

“We are now open, the fund can now invest and is already operational. Entrepreneurs should know that they can now access a scalable operating fund that has a group of companies and the ICO (Official Credit Institute) behind it, Miguel Arias, a partner at K Fund, told Insider.

This is the fund’s first step towards its goal of raising 250 million euros, according to Telefónica. The telecoms giant said in a press release that it has committed 35% of the total investment, with another 35% coming from Spain’s Official Credit Institute (ICO).

The ICO will be the largest public investor in the fund, while Telefónica is the largest private investor.

Other investors include multinational financial manager BBVA, technology consultancy SATEC and water utility company Global Omnium, according to Telefónica’s press release.

The fund wants to invest in “enabling technologies,” Arias said.

“These are technologies that help you build a new business model – it can be a client platform, a blockchain platform, a connectivity platform, or a data platform, an infrastructure layer on which you build a business,” he added.

Arias said his team has spent “months looking at companies and talking to founders” and has a “significant number” of startups to invest in.

“We hope to have the first investment in the next few weeks,” Arias said, adding that it will probably be a Spanish company, as the fund aims for local companies to represent half of its portfolio.

Leadwind intends to invest between €5 million and €10 million in companies that are valued at more than €40 million, Arias said. The company wants to lead funding rounds in such deals while looking to collaborate with big funds on larger investment rounds, he added.

Its other focus will be Latin America, where it has already found “very interesting projects in Brazil,” Arias said, adding that Leadwind plans to set up an office in the country.

“In Latin America, we will most likely be co-investors with a local partner,” Arias said.

Leadwind’s announcement is the latest in a series of big new funds in the Spanish market: Seaya Ventures closed its third fund for €165 million in December last year, while Nauta Capital closed its fifth fund for €190 million in November, according to the company. -information platform, Crunchbase.

“I think it’s great news because it means the ecosystem has matured,” Arias said, adding that the funds complement each other.

“Seaya’s background is more cleantech, ours is enabling technologies, Nauta is bigger but it’s for an earlier stage. Brand personality, company stage, technology focus and geography matter,” he added. .

The fact that there are larger funds that can make larger investments presents K Fund managers with new challenges, Arias said.

It is no longer a question of identifying the most promising companies, but of accessing those that already show a solid business model, he said.

“In the early stages you have to distinguish between the genius and the madman. Not here, you can identify the companies that have technology as a differentiator, that have traction, and the key is to get them to let you invest”, Arias said.

“And for that you have to have a good differentiating role, which for me is marked by the closeness with the founders. This is a fund of operators, of people who have set up companies before. The other is access to revenue, which is why partners like Telefónica, BBVA, SATEC and Global Omnium are so relevant,” Arias added.

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