Google Ventures, the internet giant’s investment arm, has revealed how it plans to spend a new fund worth $100 million (£62 million) a year on European tech startups.
The fund, announced in July after weeks of speculation, is the first to be launched after the US version of Google Ventures, which was established five years ago and now invests $300 million (£186 million) a year.
Google’s European venture capital operation is being headed up by a team of six with varying experience in creating and investing in tech companies. The partners are: Tom Hulme, Avid Larizadeh, Bill Maris, Peter Read, Eze Vidra and MG Sielger.
MG Siegler, the only member of the team to come from Google Ventures US, said at TechCrunch Disrupt today in London that the next step for Google Ventures is to “look at what’s going on in Europe and London specifically and seeing if we can translate the model of what we have in the US and making it work over here.”
The venture capital unit said it will differentiate itself by offering European startups access to Google Venture's design, product and technology teams, in addition to several other resources within Google as a whole, such as “contacts at YouTube” and “computing power” from Google’s data centres, according to Larizdeh.
Siegler said Google Ventures would be focusing on investing the larger sums of money associated with later stage funding rounds, such as series B, C and D funding rounds, as opposed to the smaller sums associated with early stage and series A.
“It seems like there’s a lot of activity in the early side of things [in Europe],” said Siegler. “Maybe we avoid that initially. We feel we could be more useful to entrepreneurs a little bit further up the step.”
This news is likely to be welcomed by some of Europe's most promising startups who may have found it harder than their US counterparts to raise the tens of millions of pounds they require to grow their business.
Roughly 80 percent Of the investments that Google Ventures has made in the US have been co-investments and this is something that the European team will aim to replicate, according to Read.
“Co-investing feels like a rich opportunity both here in London and across Europe," he said. "There's a tonne of good stuff going on here [in London]. I’m passionate about Berlin and Stockholm as well where there are great companies and great investors - we’ve got a strong relationship with all of them.”
Google Ventures declined to go into any detail on the types of tech startups it will be investing in within Europe, but Larizdeh said she was looking for “great entrepreneurs creating great products and services.”
The Google Ventures team in London is expecting to work closely with the 60-strong Google Ventures team in the US, who have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in over 250 companies, including fast-growing startups like Uber.
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