Google will be launching a $100 million (£58 million) venture capital fund to invest in promising European technology companies.
The fund will “invest in the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs,” according to Bill Maris, Managing Partner at Google Ventures, who is overseeing the project. “We believe Europe’s start-up scene has enormous potential.”
The new operation will be based near London’s Silicon Roundabout start-up district, but Google are open to further geographic expansion in the future. “We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond – SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others,” Mr Maris writes in a blog to announce the new fund.
The new fund will be an arm of the existing US-based fund, Google Ventures, and will be run by a team which includes angel investor Peter Read, Code.org UK head Avid Larizadeh and entrepreneur Tom Hulme.
Eze Vidra, who set up the “Google Campus” in London, an incubator for technology enterprises, is also a partner. MG Siegler, the American venture capitalist, will liaise between the new fund and Google’s original US-based fund.
That fund, set up five years ago, has put money into more than 250 enterprises, including taxi company Uber and consumer electronics maker Nest, as well as enterprises promoting better healthcare and affordable solar power generation.
Google said it could not yet predict what type of companies would receive funding in Europe, but that the investments were for financial return rather than strategic and usually in technology and the life sciences.