FOV Ventures: Annual Review

A look back at 2022

2022 was a busy year in the Metaverse and for FOV Ventures, the new venture fund setup by myself and Petri Rajahalme, investing in European founders building the Metaverse. The year passed by so quickly that we wanted to write a short post to reflect on everything that we achieved in our first year and set the scene for plenty more good things to come in 2023.

For anyone who needs reminding, FOV Ventures exists because we believe the Metaverse is a generational evolution of today’s Internet and a multi-trillion dollar opportunity. The Metaverse can’t be defined in one simple sentence, but is built upon a number of key advances in technology that serve as new building blocks for our founders. These founders are redefining the way we play, work and build — creating a new generation of billion dollar companies.

As a fund we build conviction early, at pre-seed and seed, investing initial cheques of up to €500k as a specialist value-add investor alongside amazing angels, our friends at other focused funds and larger generalist VC’s. To read our full thesis, go here.

So here’s what happened…

1. FOV Ventures launched in March.

We were thrilled to complete our first close of €16.5m in February, ahead of our public launch a month later. To date we have now closed a total of €17.5m from 29 LP’s and are on track to hit our €20m fund target early this year.

We were truly thankful to Sifted for covering our launch and a few months later I had a chance to go into greater depth about the fund and its background in this podcast. Hopefully, we’ll have time for more media, content and blog posts like this one in 2023. As well as continuing our own monthly newsletter, and maybe even a return of our own Viewpoints podcast.

2. We evaluated over 500 Metaverse related startups.

It goes without saying, but meeting so many founders building new startups is one of the most rewarding parts of the time spent as an investor. Startups found us through our website (click here if you want to get in touch), on our new LinkedIn and Twitter, and perhaps more importantly, through introductions from our Edge Network (more on this another time) and from fellow angels & investors.

Whilst virtual meetings still prevailed in 2022, we also saw a welcome return to meeting new founders and old friends IRL at various events. We met founders in Helsinki, London, Tallinn, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, Madeira and San Francisco. We started a new series of meetups, called Buidl LDN, with our friends at Connect Ventures and Entrepreneur First. We held dinners with our friends at Huckletree, Bitkraft, Supernode and others. And in 2023 we plan to do more of the same as we build an extended community around FOV Ventures.

3. We deployed over €2.5m across 9 investments.

From the 500+ startups we looked at in 2022, we’ve now backed 21 founders, across 9 companies, deploying just over €2.5m in capital. And through these we became co-investors with the likes of A16z, Epic Games, Anorak Ventures, Play Ventures, Connect Ventures, Warner Music Group, Animoca Brands, Matthew Ball and many more!

To check out more detail and a full list of our investments so far, head over to our portfolio page.

We already have several exciting deals in the pipeline beyond these first 9. And although we’ll be setting a very high quality bar for new investments this year, don’t expect a major slowdown in 2023.

4. We launched DVRSTY to help us find more diverse founders.

In 2022, we also launched our DVRSTY initiative with the belief that the next generation of the Internet should be built by a more diverse set of founders than the last. Knowing that we needed to do better in this area ourselves, DVRSTY now exists to help accelerate female founders in creating ambitious new companies within the Metaverse and Web3. We’ve also enlisted the support of a number of other funds, angels and leaders within this space to make it a true community initiative and have committed more resource to growing these efforts in 2023.

The first event was a simple Office Hours session with 10 investors/operators meeting 10 female founders from the 40+ applications we received. We also provided a travel bursary and free tickets to the AWE conference to those that wished to attend. If you’re interested to get involved in the next one then please get in touch.

Bring on 2023. Now is the time to build!

2022 was a big year for FOV Ventures but, even with the current macro headwinds, we expect 2023 to be even bigger. The noise around the Metaverse may have calmed since its peak in ’21, but this means more serious founders with better validated ideas. Just as 2007–2009 were the best vintage years for Mobile, we expect 2022–24 to be foundational years in the Metaverse with some of the most important and most valuable startups being started in these years.

Areas that we’re already excited about going into the new year include (but are not limited to) Generative AI, the Industrial Metaverse, VR Gaming and we’ll have a continued focus on investing in the companies building the ‘picks & shovels’ of the Metaverse. A blog post diving into some of these areas of focus for 2023 is coming soon.

If you’re a founder, co-investor or LP and want to get in touch then please reach out.