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$100m UK Internet fund launched

Chase Episode I has claims to be the biggest Internet startup fund in the UK - also has three veterans of the UK net startup scene

Wednesday sees the launch of Chase Episode I, a Chase Capital Partners-backed venture-capital fund that claims to be the biggest Internet startup fund in the UK.

The new fund is headed up by three UK Internet veterans: Simon Murdoch, former UK managing director and Europe Vice President for e-commerce giant Amazon.com; Richard Tahta, former strategic development director for Amazon.com in Europe; and Perry Blacher, former business development manager for Microsoft UK. The three will also be contributing their own personal backing to the fund.

Murdoch says the founders' connections in UK entrepreneurial community will help them sort winning business plans from the many to be had. "There are literally thousands of business plans out there, waiting to be funded," he says. "Some of them are very good... it's getting extremely competitive to find the best investments."

Chase Episode I will have $100m (about £61m) of funding from Chase Capital Partners, a part of the Chase banking group.

Murdoch says the fund will focus on UK companies but will look for ventures that can launch Europe-wide or at least across several countries at once. "The States is one big market," he says. "To give real economies [of scale] here you have to build a European market. You can't just launch in the UK or France and assume you're going to be safe from overseas competition."

See also Startup Spotlight: Chase Episode I

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