Photo © Héloïse Morel
blisce/ – co-hq’ed in NYC and Paris – was founded in 2014 by Alexandre Mars with a mission to help entrepreneurs build impactful global technology companies. We began investing and working with companies as the technology holding company of Alexandre Mars, the founder and CEO of blisce/. During this time we honed our strategy backing the founders of leading technology companies such as Pinterest, Spotify, and Harry’s.
Beyond investing capital we recognised early on an opportunity to utilise our unique cross-border platform, experience, team and network to help our portfolio companies scale across the US and Europe.
We also wanted to create a firm that could prove how financial performance is driven by improving social and environmental impact and responsibility. As part of these efforts we became the first EU/US firm to become B-Corp certified, and launched our climate and impact strategy. Today we are proud of our work helping dozens of our portfolio companies take their mission statements from words on the wall and turn it into measurable impact in their business.
In 2019, we decided to raise our first dedicated fund as we had become more active as a lead investor and wanted to further enhance our support to founders and their teams. We raised our first fund in 2019 which included investments in trailblazers like Headspace Health, Dice, Brut & Redesign Health.
We are proud in 2023 to announce the final closing of our second fund, a $250M fund committed to propelling impactful technology companies with global ambitions across the US and Europe. With this, we are also proud to unveil our initial investments from the fund, which includes new financings in Too Good To Go, Talkiatry, Welcome To The Jungle, and Empower.
Which industries are you working in?
We focus on fast growing new companies that harness technology to “consumerize” industries, rendering them more efficient, accessible, sustainable, and equitable. We typically invest at the early stages of a company’s growth by leading and co-leading Series A-C financings.
We have been active investors in the consumerization and digitization of commerce, healthcare, financial services, food, media and entertainment. Our strategy looks for companies that combine the potential for outsized growth and impact.
This year, our 2023 investment outlook focused on the following key industries and trends: consumerization of healthcare and the enterprise, generative AI, future of commerce, electrification of the home and sustainability, technology/services for ageing population
What do you look for in a founder?
Our investment strategy is focused on partnering with a select group of founders each year. We look to back a few founders each year that we believe have the potential, mission, drive and strategy to build impactful global technology companies.
Focusing on a smaller number of founders and companies that we believe can have outsized impact enables us to work closely with the leaders in our portfolio. This means we can spend the time required to deeply understand their business and strategy; over the course of years of doing this work together this affords us the opportunity to earn the right to be trusted partners to the founders in our portfolio.
Can you talk about your current portfolio?
You can review our portfolio here:https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/blisce
What makes blisce/ different?
We have worked to build a truly aligned investment firm uniting a diverse international team around a shared mission. As a firm we have tried to take real action including becoming a benefit corporation, donating 20% of our carried interest and 5% of our time, and proactively enhancing sustainability and social responsibility via our business, investments, and portfolio companies.
This has enabled us to recruit and develop a team across the US and EU of outstanding professionals that share a common mission and are strengthened by their differences. We work truly as one team across the US and EU which enables us to help founders to internationalise and enhance their impact.
What one piece of advice would you give founders?
We see an increasing convergence between the United States and Western Europe. Taking a business from one European country to another may not be that much different than taking it from Europe to New York. So don’t be intimidated by the perceived differences between markets – with careful planning and execution, you can successfully expand your startup across Europe and the US. We hope more founders will have this ambition to think globally from (almost) the start.
Alexandre Mars is the founder and CEO of Epic Foundation and blisce/.