Press Release: Sompo Expands into Europe with an investment in Isomer Capital
Isomer, a dedicated advocate for diversity and inclusivity in the venture capital industry, actively participated once again at the second edition of the Women in Venture Capital Europe (WVCE) conference. The event, held in the vibrant city of Paris on October 1st and 2nd, was a compelling gathering of over 350 female venture capitalists, limited partners (LPs), founders, and allies. Station F, a renowned entrepreneurial hub, set the stage for enriching discussions on various crucial aspects of the venture capital landscape.
The conference featured prominent figures and brought together not only major names in venture capital but also micro-managers, corporate entities, and institutional LPs such as BPI France, Big Society Capital, Hans(women) Foundation, and EIF. My engagement involved co-hosting two insightful events, focusing on pivotal themes impacting the industry.
Firstly, an oversubscribed roundtable discussion in collaboration with Antler delved into ‘Intersectionality in VC: Why Diverse Thinking is Fundamental to the Future Success of Venture.’ Attended by distinguished VCs from HV Capital, Highland Europe, Type One, Auxxo, as well as several founders, the discussion highlighted practical measures to foster diverse investment teams. It also explored training initiatives for partners and the influential role of LPs. Notably, the discussion underscored a trend wherein smaller funds are often at the forefront of championing diversity of thought and gender diversity from the outset, while larger funds face challenges in implementing equitable hiring practices.
In addition, I also was on a panel featuring Elodie Donjon from EIF and emerging general partners, Sarah Drinkwater from Common Magic (with an operator background) and Virginie Raphael (GP at Full Circle in the US). The panel explored the theme of ‘Emerging Managers: Standing out in the crowd,’ delving into vital aspects such as how LPs should manage GP expectations, portfolio construction by LPs, and key qualities LPs seek in first-time managers. The discussion also shed light on strategies for team members in venture capital firms to build and maintain relationships with LPs, even after an initial fundraising effort receives a ‘no’ response.
Preview of the Vienna Micro GP Summit
Last week Isomer took part in the SpeedInvest Micro GP summit in Vienna which brought together 40 first-time General Partners and 15 LPs to discuss raising first-time funds and investing in diverse managers and founders. We contributed to a panel alongside EIF, KfW and two family offices to address what LPs need to see from first-time fund managers in the current macroeconomic climate. Addressing these professionals, the aim is to enhance their understanding of the often opaque LP world and to show how pivotal a role diversity plays in shaping successful investments in the evolving venture capital landscape.