FJ Labs Q1 2024 Update

Friends of FJ Labs,

We hope you have been having a fantastic start to the year. We at FJ Labs have had an especially active first quarter and are excited about what’s to come this year in marketplaces, crypto, and tech writ large!

We are delighted to share that per Pitchbook’s 2023 Global League Tables, FJ Labs was named the most active early-stage investor in 2023 and the third most active at the late stage. We believe that the 2023 vintage will be a great one, and made the deliberate decision to aggressively lean in to our non-consensus, counter-cyclical approach.

We feel equally privileged to be included in Crunchbase’s list of top venture investors in North America. The rankings take into account deal making activity, unicorns in the portfolio (and the share that were backed before $1B+ valuation), portfolio company exits, and more.

While definitely *not* a marketplace, we are ecstatic to back (for a 5th time across 3 different companies!) founder Brett Adcock in his latest startup, Figure AI, a robotics company building the world’s first commercially viable autonomous humanoid robot. The company raised an oversubscribed $675M Series B at a $2.6B post-money valuation led by Microsoft and OpenAI, with participation from Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund, Bezos Expeditions, Parkway Venture Capital, Intel Capital, and others. (TechCrunch)

Paris-based PhotoRoom, an AI-based photo editing tool, raised a $43M Series B led by previous investor Balderton Capital, with participation from YC. (PRNewswire)

E-scooter rental company Dott was acquired by Tier to form the largest European operator. The combined entity will operate scooter rentals in 20 countries. (Reuters)

ValidMind, an AI and model risk management platform for financial services firms, raised $8.1M in seed funding led by Point72 Ventures. (Finextra)

We are also excited to unveil our newest incubation company, Midas, a yield-bearing stablecoin taking on the $100B stablecoin market currently dominated by Circle (USDC) and Tether (USDT). Founded by Dennis Dinkelmeyer and with Fabrice acting as Executive Chairman, Midas has raised capital from leading institutional & crypto investors globally. Learn more and see the official fundraising announcement here.

We are delighted to share that Fabrice welcomed a baby girl, Amélie Victoire Grinda, on February 21, 2024 in New York City. Everyone is doing well and François is already thriving in his new role as big brother 🙂

Congratulations, Fabrice & family!

Alongside our friends at Speedinvest and Redpoint Ventures, FJ Labs co-hosted a Marketplace Meetup at the New York Stock Exchange for a curated group of investors and founders. Fabrice spoke on a panel covering the evolution of AI integration within marketplaces.

Jose took the stage as a panelist at this year’s LEAP conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He shared his perspective on emerging marketplace trends and  how we at FJ Labs see industries evolving over the next decade.

This year’s South Summit Brazil brought together over 23,000 attendees including 900+ investors and 3,000+ startups! FJ’s own Matias Barbero shared his thoughts on the LATAM startup ecosystem and VC & LP activity in the region.

Our first team offsite of 2024 was held at Fabrice’s home in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada. These outings serve as invaluable time for the team and a select group of FJ Labs investors, founders, and friends to spend time together, think strategically as a firm, and discuss marketplaces and macro trends… and get in a bit of skiing!

Fabrice recently published FJ Labs’ B2B Marketplace Thesis. With trillions of dollars of GMV potential and still-low penetration, we at FJ have long been believers in the ongoing digitization of B2B supply chains across verticals and geographies.

In case you missed it, we recently shared our 2023 Year In Review in which we made 218 investments across 27 countries last year. As in prior years, we invested mostly at the early stage and in predominately online marketplaces & network effects businesses — our domain expertise!

Make sure to check out Fabrice’s fun interview with the Techstars alumni community covering his entrepreneurial journey beginning in the late 1990s, his transition to VC, advice for founders, and future predictions around the next big wave in tech.

Fabrice was also featured on the 3i Members Founder Spotlight podcast where he shared his philosophy on angel investing at scale and insights on investing in cryptocurrency, marketplaces, and more.