Google launches $100m fund to support European tech start-ups

Google Ventures, the investment arm of tech giant Google, has announced the launch of a new $100m London-based fund, set to back the growth of tech start-ups across Europe.

In a press release posted on its blog, Google said the new fund would invest in “the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs”, in a similar fashion to the US-based arm of its venture capital fund.

The US tech giant said Europe’s start-up scene had “enormous potential”, naming Spotify, SoundCloud and Supercell as three examples of “compelling new companies” that have emerged from the region.

It said the European arm of its venture capital fund would employ the same holistic approach to support as the corresponding US arm of Google Ventures, providing funding, engineering support, design expertise and guidance with recruiting, marketing and product management to its investee companies.

The general partners administering the fund will be Eze Vidra, Google’s head of Campus London and Entrepreneurs Europe, alongside entrepreneurs and angel investors, namely founder Tom Hulme (one of WIRED’s tops 100 ‘digital power brokers’), Peter Read, and founder Avid Larizadeh.

London & Partners, the promotional organisation of the Mayor of London, said the new fund would benefit the London tech scene in particular, encouraging investment, job creation and economic growth in the capital.

The news comes just days after high-street bank Santander UK announced plans to set up a new $100m London-based venture capital fund, set to invest in financial technology start-ups worldwide.

Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners, commented on the launch of the fund: “Having the Google Ventures fund based in London further enhances our reputation as a city in which European tech companies can find the investment they need to grow their businesses from our growing portfolio of active venture capital firms.

“I also anticipate Google Ventures to invest in some exciting tech opportunities here in London, helping innovative companies to further develop and turn their tech ideas and fuelling economic growth in the capital.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the capital represents the”natural hub for developing the new economy across the continent and provides the perfect ecosystem for investment in new tech, digital and creative firms of all sizes”.

He added that the talent base and start-up opportunities are key reasons why Google and other global investors are looking to London for locating and growing tech companies.

“Adding the European arm of Google Ventures to London’s roster of digital expertise will help create more jobs, drive more investment and inspire even more tech masterminds to head to our great city,” he said.