Anthemis group he says is trying to raise $200 million for a third fund an SEC filingas first reported by Axios. It has been on the market since last year and so far has secured pledges of just $36.4 million. The company had separately cancel plans to raise a SPAC at the end of last month.
Founded in 2010, based in London anthem is focused on financial technology (commonly known as fintech) — a sector that has been hit hard by the economic downturn and venture capital slowdown. The firm announced at the end of 2021 that this was the case Raised $700 million in new funds in what a spokesman described as “a pool of capital,” it closed “across strategies” from its venture studio to its venture growth fund. That pool of capital was called Anthemis Venture Fund II.
The company previously raised $106 million in its first venture capital fund in March 2018; Anthemis had said it has a total of $1.5 billion in assets under management.
TechCrunch has reached out to Anthemis about its efforts to raise capital for its third fund and its disbanded SPAC, but had not heard back as of this writing.
The new fundraising request comes just months after Anthemis 16 people laid off, or 28% of the workforce, as reported by TechCrunch in April. In that time, a spokesperson for London-based Anthemis told TechCrunch the move was an attempt “to better reflect current market conditions and set the company up for future growth” against its “strategic priorities”.
While we’ve seen some big funds raised in recent months, the market has tightened drastically for other companies. Either way, Anthemis isn’t the only outfit that has had to pull out of SPAC plans. Many others including Acorns, for example, opted instead to raise capital in 2022. During the bull run, SPACs, also known as special purpose acquisition vehicles, were seen for a while as a good way for operators, as well as certain VC firms, to raise the amount capital to be extended they could put to work. But they have declined in popularity since 2022, after the introduction of the SEC proposed guidelines for SPACsparticularly around disclosures, marketing practices, and third-party surveillance.
Like TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos did before reported, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced last year that she was planning a bill targeting the SPAC industry. Called the “SPAC Accountability Act of 2022”, the bill would expand the legal liability of parties involved in SPAC transactions, close loopholes that SPACs “have long exploited to make exaggerated projections” and hold back investors who sponsor a deal.
So far this year, Anthemis has publicly announced some new investments. included: Fly past, Elevate (lead investor), Green Park And Agreena. It also announced a follow-up investment in Herd. The company has also seen a number of exits including Current is acquired by Marqueta and Goji be picked up by Euroclear. Other companies in his portfolio include the social investment app eToroinvesting and savings app Improvement and insurtech Vouch.
Like a growing number of companies, Anthemis has also seen a number of portfolio companies stumble over the past year. In November, controversy arose over the sudden resignation of three Pipe co-founders, including the CEO, raised eyebrows. And more recently, Daylight was the LGBTQ+-focused digital bank beaten with a lawsuit by three former employees “accusing age and wage discrimination, whistleblower retaliation and fraud.”