27 May 2020 Hello world. henQ 4 is here!
We are happy to announce that we have just launched our fourth fund with a first close of €70M. Our focus will remain as it has always been: leading pre-seed up to Series A rounds in B2B software companies across Europe. Working remotely has been our way of working for years and we’re not new to closing deals remotely. Against that backdrop, while having just raised a new fund and doubling down on what we do best, we’re very proud that henQ 4 is here!
With the close of henQ 4, it is also time to officially introduce our new partner team. We believe that one of the secrets to sustaining true success in venture capital is to manage team succession very well. With Jan, Mick, and Jelmer as the new generation of partners working alongside co-founder Coen, who led investments in the fund returners of henQ’s first two funds (Mendix and SEOshop) and is currently on the board of Mews Systems (which recently raised $33M from Battery Ventures), we believe we have built a truly future-proof venture firm.
Jan joined henQ in 2014, after having founded Scord (a one-stop-shop for early-stage startups to manage their fundraise, tax, and legal work), and quickly became a true rising star at henQ: leading investments in a.o. ZIVVER, Sendcloud, and Stravito. Mick made a similar journey—joining henQ in 2016, after having led an ed-tech enabled organization to several hundred thousands of euros in revenue. He has since led investments in Orderchamp and Aula, and future-proofs henQ as its CFO.
New hire Jelmer adds well to this mix, having made the switch to the VC world after being on the management team of high growth enterprise software company Backbase for nine years. Running both marketing and product at Backbase, while making the journey from EUR1-100M ARR, Jelmer has a wealth of experience from which every single (potential) portfolio company can learn at least a thing or two. With Jan, Mick, Coen, and Jelmer in charge, henQ is ready for at least another 15 years of success.
So what have we been doing since our first fund in 2005? Our focus has always been the same: we invest from pre-seed up to Series A in B2B software companies. In our first fund, we were the first investor in Mendix, being part of their flying journey up to their $700M+ acquisition by Siemens. In henQ 2, we saw early success when SEOshop was acquired by Lightspeed. And in henQ 3, we invested in 19 companies that are at a 70% graduation rate (i.e. they raised a follow-on round with external investors after a seed round from henQ), including ZIVVER, SendCloud, Mews Systems, Impraise, Aidence, and more.
henQ 3 also marked the international expansion of henQ. We originally started as a VC that was focused on The Netherlands. When Jan was promoted to partner he initiated henQ’s international expansion, of which the first investment was in Stockholm-based Stravito — a company led by some of the most seasoned tech executives in Sweden. By now, half of henQ 3 investments have been made outside of the Netherlands with deals being done in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and the United Kingdom.
With henQ 4, we continue with that focus: a fresh new fund to invest in European B2B software companies, leading pre-seed to Series A rounds. We expect the majority of the investments to be done in the Benelux and Nordics.
henQ has always been a venture firm without a real office, working remotely for years and also closing deals remotely. What we did not anticipate when we started our fundraising, is that we would be closing our fund in the middle of a global pandemic. We are very happy, in these uncertain times, that we continue to have the full backing of our LPs who, like us, believe now is as great a time as any to start and invest in new companies. Great founders emerge in challenging settings, and true industry leaders are built in those times.
This is also a moment where we like to thank our portfolio founders: there wouldn’t be a henQ without you. We hope that we have been able to support you, and we promise to continue to do so.
Also, we would like to thank our LPs, new and returning, who have believed in us and chosen to be involved in our funds. We are working hard every day to fulfill what we have promised to you and promise to continue to push to deliver. Our investors are a good mix of institutional investors, angels, and (former) successful B2B software founders.
Coen, Jan, Mick, and Jelmer.