Endeavor Catalyst blazed through a milestone of 100 investments in companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs this January, starting 2019 off strong after closing the fund’s busiest year of investment yet in 2018.
From Bukalapak, an Indonesian e-commerce unicorn, to Detroit’s Workit Health, a telehealth addiction treatment company, the newest investments reflect the steadily growing pace and increasing diversity of the Endeavor Catalyst portfolio, which today is comprised of investments in more than 20 markets and across eight industry sectors. The recent additions also include SkuVault, the fund’s first investment in Louisville, Kentucky, where Endeavor expanded in 2015.
Endeavor Catalyst is Endeavor’s innovative co-investment fund, set up to invest exclusively in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies and to sustain Endeavor’s long-term operations in a mission-aligned way. Following an objective, rules-driven approach, Endeavor Catalyst invests up to 10% (currently capped at $2 million) of an Endeavor Entrepreneur’s equity round of over $5 million, led by a qualified institutional investor.
The fund’s pioneering model has facilitated its rapid scale. Launched in 2012, Endeavor Catalyst made between five and ten investments in each of its first four years. That rate has increased dramatically over the past three years, with each year marking a new “high” in terms of investments. Following 16 investments in 2016 and 22 investments in 2017, the fund made a record-high 32 investments in calendar year 2018. In Latin America, the MENA region, and parts of Europe, Endeavor Catalyst has been recognized as one of the most active investors.
According to Endeavor Catalyst Managing Director Allen Taylor, there are three primary drivers for the increased investment activity: Endeavor’s own expansion, from 17 markets in 2012 to 34 today, the strength of the Endeavor portfolio, and the spread of equity capital to more and more markets that have traditionally been underserved.
“Seeing firms like Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz investing in Latin America, TPG investing in Africa, and General Atlantic investing in the MENA region tells you a lot about the potential in these markets,” noted Taylor.
Endeavor Catalyst has invested in rounds alongside over 100 funds, while providing its own LPs access and exposure to some of the fastest-growing companies all over the world — reinforcing Endeavor’s belief that high-growth companies aren’t just in Silicon Valley.
In fact, the most successful companies in the Endeavor Catalyst portfolio hail from incredibly diverse geographies: Indonesia’s Bukalapak joins Cabify (Spain) and Rappi (Colombia) as the portfolio’s unicorns, and Globant (Argentina), Yemeksepeti (Turkey), Mapan (Indonesia), FIGS (Miami), and Cornershop (Mexico/Chile) have all realized exits.
As it grows, the portfolio’s breadth also offers insight into what types of entrepreneurs and companies are growing most quickly. Thus far, the Fund has invested primarily in technology and technology-enabled companies: 75% of the Fund’s capital has been deployed in Retail & Consumer Tech, Fintech, and Enterprise Software and Services. With the vast majority of these companies raising Series A and Series B rounds, it is clear that more high-potential companies founded today are integrating technology into their core functions.
We continue to see that great entrepreneurs globally can attract top-tier investors, and our pipeline remains very active going forward. Investments in Endeavor Entrepreneurs fuel the growth of high-impact companies, creating new jobs, driving revenues, and fostering economic growth in the places that need it the most. Building on the success of Fund I and Fund II, Endeavor Catalyst will be launching Fund III in the coming months.