Google Ventures Raising $100M Fund to Invest in Europe
July 11, 2014
There's no shortage of companies emerging from Europe that are quickly attracting attention—and funding—from venture capital investors, and Google Ventures is now getting in on the action. The venture firm has announced the launch of a new $100 million European fund, which will invest in startups across the region. Google Ventures will open a new London office and its new fund will be managed by four partners: Eze Vidra, Tom Hulme, Peter Read and Avid Larizadeh. A fifth, MG Siegler, will join the London team temporarily to help set up operations but will eventually return to his U.S.-based position. Founded in 2009, Google Ventures now holds more than 250 companies in its portfolio.
Google Ventures' move to Europe isn't exactly common. While there's a bevy of U.S.-based VC investors that make European investments, there are very few that have actually set up a dedicated European fund—and maybe for good reason. Venture capital activity in Europe is dominated by a handful of VC firms. For example, just four firms—Kima Ventures (headquartered in France), Index Ventures (Switzerland), High-Tech Grunderfonds (Germany) and Scottish Enterprise (U.K.)—have completed a combined 140 deals in Europe over the past 12 months alone, accounting for about 10% of all European deal flow during that timeframe. To check out the full list of Europe-based investors and their activity over the past year, click here.
One of the few other U.S.-based VC firms that have launched a European fund is another big name, Accel Partners, which closed a $475 million London fund in 2013. Since closing that fund, Accel has invested in several notable European companies, including Paris-based Blablacar, London-based WorldRemit and Lithuania-based Vinted, among others.