Google Ventures opens London office with £60m start-up fund

By Graeme Burton
11 Jul 2014 View Comments
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Search giant Google, which is currently wrestling with EU anti-trust authorities over a settlement for favouring its own products in search results, has set up Google Ventures, a £60m venture fund to invest in European start-ups.

Based in London, Google Ventures' European office will have five general partners who will be tasked with scouring Europe's capitals and tech hubs to find new start-ups in which to invest.

Further reading

Google Ventures was founded in 2009 and has already invested in a range of companies in the US, including Nest, which it went on to buy; mobile cab app company Uber and many others. Today it has a portfolio of more than 250 companies, not all of which are focused on technology.

Europe suffers from a dearth of early-stage and venture capital funding, which often forces entrepreneurs and start-ups to the US instead.

"To help support the next generation of European entrepreneurs, today Google Ventures is launching a new venture fund, with initial funding of $100m (£58.5m). Our goal is simple: we want to invest in the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs, and help them bring those ideas to life," wrote Google Ventures managing partner, Bill Marris, in a blog posting.

According to the Financial Times, the London office will have have five general partners, including Eze Vidra, Tom Hulme, angel investor Peter Read, Avid Larisadeh (co-founder of online fashion retailer start-up Boticca), and tech blogger MG Siegler in a temporary capacity.

Maris said that as well as providing capital, Google will also offer engineering support, design expertise, recruitment guidance, marketing, and product management.

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