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Strengthening the Limited Partner Ecosystem

By Aideen Murphy

Principal at SVLC

In the European venture capital ecosystem, limited partners are so often left out of the conversation. However, their role and contribution are critical to startups and innovation. This month, South Summit brought the LP role to center-stage, with candid discussions led by a diverse range of LPs– from family offices to individuals to corporates.

The forum was hosted in Madrid at IE’s vertical campus, a fitting location, as the university was built by entrepreneurs and has been a powerful springboard for startups in the region. And in hosting here, South Summit physically brought LPs to the entrepreneurs, breaking down barriers. The forum was kicked off by Diego del Alcázar, CEO of IE University and Juan José Güemes, Chairman of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at IE University.

The event speakers included distinguished LPs, such as Martin Varsavsky, Carmen del Campo from Mutua Madrileña and Anabela Ferreira of Intraplas. In each panel, the LPs were speaking alongside VCs within their portfolio. This encouraged more meaningful conversations, as the LPs were able to walk the audience through their due diligence process and enduring relationship with their VC investments.

The forum conversations focused on the role of the LP and the positioning of corporates as a pillar to the ecosystem. My key takeaways from the LP speakers:

  • Although VCs are an essential intermediary between startups and LPs, it’s important for startups to understand dynamics between the LPs and VCs, particularly in this market environment. Startups should be looking for VCs with strong LPs that will support their funds through the tough times.
  • As the future has become more expensive, Martin Varsavsky recommends for LPs to invest now. Down market vintages give VCs more decision-making power and greater ownership, which means better returns for LPs.
  • Carmen del Campo of Mutua Madrileña discussed the reputational implications Corporate LPs must consider during the due diligence process in both funds and startups.
  • Many LPs, such as Anabela Ferreira of Intraplas, take an active role in their VC investments and plan to make strategic co-investments alongside the VC fund.

To close the forum, South Summit’s last panel highlighted the urgency and opportunity for investors in ClimateTech. South Summit’s Chief Ecosystem Officer, Liz Fleming spoke with Carlos Fisch, Partner of Seaya Adromeda, the largest Climate fund in Europe. Climatetech is a burgeoning space for European investors and this event brought it to the forefront for LP consideration. Carlos Fisch debunked climate investment myths and detailed how investing in climate funds is simply good business and can bring enormous returns.

Overall, this event cemented South Summit as a trailblazer in Europe, uniting LPs in the region, strengthening the LP community and inspiring much-needed discourse around the market environment and LP decision-making. Excited to see this South Summit-led community will grow and evolve!

aideen_murphy

Aideen Murphy – Principal at SVLC

Aideen worked for the firm as a Venture Fellow, coaching pre-seed portfolio companies on branding and pitch training. Before joining SVLC, Aideen worked at a life science consultancy in San Francisco, where she led Organizational Development. Her passion for venture emerged while working in operations for a startup in Seville, Spain. Aideen has experience in a multitude of sectors including e-commerce, cybersecurity, real estate development, the U.S. House of Representatives, and publishing.