Google UK managing director Dan Cobley is quitting the internet giant to head up his own financial technology (fintech) incubator and investment fund.
Cobley, who spent eight years at Google as head of European marketing and UK MD, is launching the fintech start-up incubator with Blenheim Chalcot and QED Investors.
The Brightbridge Capital fund, rumoured to be worth £50 million, will be based out of Hammersmith in West London and overseen by Cobley, who has been named as the new company’s CEO.
Brightbridge said it wants to “invest in and build businesses that promise to redefine how financial services are delivered through the smart use of internet technology.”
But Cobley could end up competing with his former employer over deals after Google announced its own £58 million European start-up fund last month.
“The decision to leave Google is a really tough one, and I will miss the place hugely,” said Cobley. “But I have always wanted to run my own thing, and having secured the support of such amazing backers there will never be a better time to make the leap.”
The arrival of the new fund coincides with the launch of a new fintech industry body today, which has been established with 50 founding members in a bid to support the UK fintech sector.
Chancellor George Osborne, who launched the organisation in Canary Wharf today, said the UK government will be investing £100 million into fintech companies over a currently unknown time period.
Osborne also announced a number of policy changes and consultations that will be introduced in a bid to support the UK fintech sector.
Fintech start-ups in the UK appear to be doing particularly well at the moment and London is widely considered to be the fintech capital of the world.
This is largely due to the proximity between the well-established financial centre in the City of London and the start-up community in neighbouring Shoreditch.
Indeed, a report out today from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and accountancy group Ernst & Young sets out the strengths of the UK’s fintech sector and the market opportunities for fintech companies.
Sue Langley, CEO of the UKTI Financial Services Organisation, said: "The UK is fast becoming the destination of choice for any fintech company. The UK government is committed to supporting fintech companies. The new publication articulates the UK’s unique market opportunity making it clear why any fintech company should set up in the UK."