Google is launching a venture capital fund to invest in promising European technology companies.
Their launch aims to compete for a stake for the continent’s growing number of promising start-ups, which have often found success despite having less access to funding than their US counterparts.
“To help support the next generation of European entrepreneurs, today Google Ventures is launching a new venture fund, with initial funding of $100 million. 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,” said Bill Maris, managing partner at Google Ventures.
Recent investment successes in Silicon Valley start-ups include Uber and Nest.
Google Ventures invests both seed and early stage growth and the UK office will be based in London, in Clerkenwell.
Google campus has previously been the company’s primary start up presence in London – and a nucleus for the technology start up scene. It was opened in 2012 to create an environment that encourages innovation through collaboration, mentorship, and networking.
Google Ventures was set up in the US five years ago and has focused its investments on Silicon Valley companies thus far. Its current fund is USD 300 million but Google stresses that start-ups in its portfolio are provided with more than just capital, benefitting from engineering support, design expertise, and guidance with recruiting, marketing and product management.
While Google Ventures is one of the few U.S. firms to launch a dedicated European fund, it faces stiff competition from many Europe-based firms, such as Index Ventures, Earlybird Venture Capital, Runa Capital etc. In additional, giant U.S. venture capital firm Accel Partners has long maintained a presence in Europe.