Google Ventures launches $100m European startup fund

Google's investment arm is coming to Europe to bid for a stake in the continent's emerging tech talent.

Google Ventures, the search giant's VC arm which has recently invested in robotics, Nest, Uber and others, has launched a $100m fund dedicated to startups in Europe.

Google Ventures is launching in Europe to compete for a stake for the continent's growing number of promising startups, which have often found success despite having access to scarcer funding than their counterparts across the Atlantic.

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"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.

"We believe Europe's startup scene has enormous potential. We've seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond — SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others." 

The move follows rumours earlier this week the company was brewing plans for a European fund, and eyeing local investors and other talent to support investments on the continent.

Maris didn't name the individuals that the company has brought onboard for its European venture, however according to the Financial Times, the new unit will have have five general partners, including Eze Vidra, who headed up the Google Campus in London's Tech City.

Also joining will be Tom Hulme, a well-known investor; Peter Read, a British angel investor and advisor to tech companies; Avid Larisadeh, co-founder of online fashion retailer startup, Boticca, and head of the UK's Tech blogger MG Siegler, who joined Google Ventures as a US general partner, is also with the fund in a temporary capacity.

According to Siegler, he will remain general partner in the US but will be "heading over to support the new team for a time".

Google Ventures' $100m fund is significant for the continent's startups but it's not on the scale of the some of the European funds raised by VC firms recently, such as Index Ventures' newly launched $550 early stage fund, Accel's $475m fund, and Balderton Capital's $305m series A venture fund.

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

Google Ventures already has a portfolio of 250 companies that it's invested in across consumer, mobile, commerce, enterprise and life science. Besides smart thermostat startup Nest, which Google snapped up earlier this year , some of its notable investments include Uber, Cloudera, and Flatiron Health.

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