Frontline $80m fund to bring US software firms to Europe

Irish venture capital firm Frontline Ventures has revealed a new $80m fund called FrontlineX to help US software companies expand into Europe.

The new FrontlineX fund will bring Frontline’s total funds under management to $200m.

FrontlineX partners have been executives at Twitter, Google, SurveyMonkey, Airtable and Yammer, and have built a tailored program that ensures a fast and frictionless start in Europe.

The new fund will invest up to $5m alongside lead investors in Series B, C or D rounds, and work with portfolio companies to implement tailored strategies for fast and effective European expansion.

Since 2012, Frontline Ventures itself has been an active investor across Europe, investing in early stage B2B SaaS, and helping European founders get to the US.

The team has backed a number of successful companies in Seed Funds I and II, including Britebill (acquired by Amdocs), Logentries (acquired by Rapid7), and Orchestrate (acquired by CenturyLink). Most recently, Frontline was an early investor in Dublin start-up Pointy, which was acquired by Google last month for around $160m.

Coming to Europe

“We’ve benchmarked the best of B2B software and seen that, by the time a company goes public, 30pc of its revenue should be coming from Europe,” explained Stephen McIntyre, partner at Frontline Ventures.

“But even the biggest names in tech fail to get there because of avoidable mistakes when they land. We’ve learned about international expansion the hard way as operators. The good news is that most of these problems are known and solvable. But there’s no simple playbook, no one-size-fits-all solution. We take a hands-on approach with every company to ensure they make a fast start when they land and expand.”

With offices in London, Dublin, and San Francisco, FrontlineX will be led by partners Stephen McIntyre and Brennan O’Donnell.

Prior to joining Frontline, Stephen setup Twitter’s European headquarters as the vice-president of EMEA and built its EMEA business from $0 to $250m in four and a half years. Before Twitter, Stephen ran a substantial part of Google’s ads business, leading teams of hundreds of people with revenue responsibility in the billions annually.

Brennan joins FrontlineX as a partner in San Francisco, bringing 20 years of experience building technology businesses and scaling global teams. He previously held multiple go-to-market leadership roles at Google in the US and Europe, building teams across both the cloud and ads businesses. He then held executive roles at Yammer (acquired by Microsoft), SurveyMonkey, Euclid (acquired by WeWork) and Airtable.

FrontlineX has already made several promising investments: the Series B of TripActions, a company that has gone on to raise from Andreessen Horowitz at a $4bn valuation; People.ai’s $100m Series C together with Lightspeed, Andreessen Horowitz and ICONIQ; and Clearbanc’s $50m Series B with Emergence and Highland. 

Pictured at top: Stephen McIntyre and Will Prendergast, Frontline Ventures

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 5 March, 2020