Copenhagen-based DealCircle has raised $750K from a slew of business angels, including former JustEat CEO Klaus Nyengaard, ZenDesk co-founder Alexander Aghassipour & SEED Capital, looking to expand its online funding platform to Europe. Founded by Lars Buch, formerly head of smartphones for Nokia in Denmark, and Bertrand Bisson, a former lawyer, the platform looks to reduce the amount of legal fees that founders pay during seed fundraisings.
“The days of founders losing 10% of their funding as fees are over” – Lars Buch
Comparing themselves to Founders Club, a more private version of AngelList in the US, Deal Circle’s French co-founder Bertrand Bisson told me that the vast majority of deals happening on AngelList are happening offline: negotiating terms, signing agreements, and meeting investors all require face-to-face interaction. Deal Circle hopes to eliminate that, or at least, minimize it as much as possible.
The platform today is invite-only, a differentiation point that Bisson hopes will decrease the amount of noise on the platform – arguably one of AngelList’s weaknesses is the lack of filter on who raises money, as it makes it very difficult to get an idea on which companies are worth looking into. Whereas AngelList might be seen as the “Indiegogo” of the crowd-fundraising community, Deal Circle hopes to be the Kick Starter – you’ve got to be one or the other, these days, it seems – and this may be the key market opportunity to exploit.
In addition, Bisson boasts that, unlike other platforms, Deal Circle wants to make European-wide, cross-border deals possible, and so they currently have 28 different forms (for each of the European countries) of the Convertible Note – TheFamily recently released an English-language version of the Y-Combinator SAFE here in France.
Bisson says that the platform has already facilitated a few deals, but it seems that 2014 will be the year that Europe gets an AngelList, one way or another.