Dan Jones, the former General Partner at Global Founders Capital (the venture arm of Rocket Internet) and previously an investor with Fidelity, is thought to be nearing the first close of a new early-stage venture capital fund.
Dubbed “Jigsaw,” the VC firm appears to be co-founded with Dan Smith, who previously ran Anthemis Exponential and was a cloud computing pioneer at IBM. Sources tell me the firm is targeting a fund size of around $75 million, of which a significant chunk has been raised over the last four months.
Meanwhile, five investments have been made by Jigsaw already. Looking at Jones’ LinkedIn profile these appear to be: Disperse (alongside Northzone, and Kindred), Flatfair (alongside Index), Gleam (alongside JamJar, Octopus, and Graham Bosher), Wagestream (alongside Balderton, and Northzone), and Zencargo (alongside DST, Holtzbrink, and LocalGlobe).
In addition to the main early-stage fund is a separate “opportunities vehicle”, which I understand has already closed. Its size isn’t known. However, like similar sidecar funds of its kind, it will be used by Jigsaw to support founders at Series A and beyond where the VC has already invested or has some kind of pre-existing relationship. Cheque size from the opportunity fund will be around $1-3 million.
Jones departed GFC, where he was a key lieutenant to Rocket Internet co-founder and CEO Oli Samwer, in around October 2018. As we exclusively reported at the time, several sources said he had decided to take up the challenge of raising a fund of his own — a challenge that now looks close to achieving.
A popular figure amongst GFC portfolio companies, in my original report I wrote that Jones’ exit from GFC would be viewed as a loss to the U.K. tech scene, so returning with his own fund is bound to be welcomed by many. His GFC investments include Canva (unicorn), Revolut (unicorn), Next Insurance (unicorn), Nested, Goodlord, and Echo (acquired by McKesson). Meanwhile, Smiths’ investments include Alt.Bank, Yulife, Monese, and Unmind.
I’ve reached out to Jones and Smith for comment but haven’t heard back. I’ll update this post when and if I do.