Global Founders Capital, the venture capital arm of Rocket Internet, has seen a number of its London investment team leave over the last couple of years, but the most significant departure may have only just happened.
According to multiple sources, Daniel Jones, General Partner at GFC, has left the VC firm and is thought to be planning to raise his own fund. A spokesperson for GFC declined to comment on the record when asked to confirm he is no longer at GFC. Jones couldn’t be reached for comment at the time of publication.
Rumours of Jones’ departure began circulating in late March, and sometime in April portfolio companies were informed by GFC about changes in the U.K. team and specifically that he was leaving. Separately I understand from several sources that the reason being given by GFC is that Jones has decided to take up the challenge of raising a fund of his own.
Perhaps a sign of how depleted the GFC London team is right now — in the last two years, the firm has lost associate Julien Bek to Accel, associate Julia Morrongiello to Point Nine Capital, and principle Nicholas Stocks to White Star Capital — a number of portfolio companies are being told that Rocket Internet co-founder and CEO Oli Samwer is to be their main contact for now going forward. He’s primarily being supported by GFC Partner Levin Bunz, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, Jones’ exit from GFC is bound to be a loss to the U.K. tech startup scene, even if he does go on to eventually raise his own fund. He was and remains a popular figure amongst GFC portfolio companies and as a General Partner was always somebody thought to have the ear of Samwer, and therefore an influential figure at GFC and Rocket Internet.
As one source with knowledge of how GFC operated in the U.K. put it: “Daniel Jones was the most important non-Samwer at Global Founders. He constituted at least half of the decision-making and the majority of the legwork on every term sheet GFC issued.”
According to his LinkedIn profile, Jones’ U.K. GFC investments include Goodlord, Echo and Nested. In the last few years, the stage-agnostic VC firm has also backed U.K. startups Quiqup, OpenRent, and HomeTouch, amongst others.