FJ Labs Q4 2023 Update

Friends of FJ Labs,

Happy 2024! We are excited to dive back in after the holiday season and are optimistic that this coming year will be another incredible vintage for venture investing.

We closed last year with a bang across investing, speaking engagements, and blog content and are excited to share our recent updates in this quarter’s digest.

While lots has been said about last year’s happenings, Fabrice gives his own succinct take (without notes or teleprompter!) in the below video. He describes where we sit in the current macro cycle, its impact on entrepreneurship, our thoughts on AI as an investment opportunity, and FJ Labs’ current thesis at the 2023 Transatlantic Leadership Forum hosted by Goldman Sachs.

Hayden AI, a leader in artificial intelligence and geospatial analytics, raised an oversubscribed $53M Series B to further strengthen its market leader position. (Businesswire)

Vortexa,  a London-based provider of a real-time global analytics for energy and freight markets, raised a $34M Series C, led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. (Finsmes)

Vienna’s Refurbed raised a $57M Series C to expand its refurbished electronics marketplace. The company achieved significant milestones last year, having reached €1B GMV and achieving profitability in its home markets. (

Spain-based Luzia raised a $10M Series A to introduce its AI chatbot tech to users through a WhatsApp-based bot, led by Khosla Ventures. (TechCrunch)

Outfit Training, a Navy SEAL veteran-founded mobile outdoor fitness company, announced plans to expand its boutique fitness concept throughout the U.S. for the first time through franchising. (PRNewswire)

Other FJ Labs portfolio companies including Empowerly (managed marketplace for career counseling), Medelse (recruitment platform for healthcare professionals in France), and Yay Lunch (meal delivery service for schools in the U.S), raised new funding rounds last quarter.

We are delighted to announce that Josh Breinlinger has joined FJ Labs as a Venture Partner. Josh started his career in Mechanical Engineering after graduating from MIT in 2000. In 2004, he joined the founding team of Upwork (previously oDesk) and began his love affair with marketplaces. Since then, he has been a founding member of Rev and a general partner with Jackson Square Ventures. He has led investments in OfferUp, Alto Pharmacy, Crexi, and 20 other early-stage marketplaces. Welcome, Josh!

At Abu Dhabi Finance Week, Jose participated in a panel discussing how e-commerce will impact the way we do business as well as the disruption we’re seeing in the industry by offrails payment providers and challenger banks.

At NY TechWeek, Fabrice gave a talk on best practices for effectively scaling marketplace growth. He was joined by several marketplace entrepreneurs investors.

At the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America (LAVCA) week in NYC, FJ Labs Principal Matias Barbero moderated a panel on VC investing in LatAm with leading investors in the region including Valor, Kaszek, Canary, FinTech Collective, and ONEVC.

Alongside our friends at London-based VC firstminute capital, we hosted a cocktail event for founders, investors, and NYC-based  LPs at Fabrice’s apartment. These events serve as invaluable time to reconnect with our amazing founder network.

Mark your calendars for Fabrice’s upcoming Playing with Unicorns episode, “Unlocking Productivity: Streamlining Your Days for Passion and Purpose”, which you can stream this Thursday, January 11 at noon ET. He will cover general productivity tips and optimal outsourcing of one’s professional and personal life.

Fabrice’s latest macroeconomic update is not to be missed. He outlines the various factors leading to his near-term bearishness and reasons for cautious optimism as we look ahead.

In this marketplace startups masterclass, Fabrice shares his thoughts on successfully building an online marketplace, the biggest mistakes marketplace founders make, and metrics required to raise capital at various stages.

For a fun listen, check out Fabrice’s recent interview with our good friend and European solo GP, Robin Haak, of Robin Capital. This wide-ranging conversation covers a variety of topics from adventure travel to risk taking, spirituality, startups and more.

For any belated holiday shopping needs, make sure you peruse Fabrice’s infamous holiday gadget gift guide. From ultra-light travel laptops, wireless headphones, ear plugs, an 8-in-1 charging station (or drone, RC truck, or outdoor ice bath :), he’s got you covered!

And for more team writing…

FJ investment team members Luke Skertich and Lauren Lee wrote an insightful two-part Playbook for Building Saas-Enabled Marketplaces. They reviewed hundreds of companies and identified factors that best contributed to the success of these models. Hope you enjoy!