As we all know, Google has been investing in startup for years but now it’s creating a new European arm for Google Ventures, making official a long rumored move.
Google will be launching the new venture fund with initial funding of $100 million. The $100 million fund is significant for European startups but actually smaller than some of the European funds raised by VC firms recently.
In June, Index Ventures launched a $550m early stage fund for technology companies in Europe. In 2013, the London offices of Accel partners unveiled a similar fund worth $475 million. In April, Balderton Capital announced that it will invest an additional amount of $305 million, bringing its total funds to $2.2 billion to invest in European technology start-ups.
Google said its inital investment may rise over time depending on its success.
The Managing Partner of Google Ventures, Bill Maris said in a blog post that the European arm would operate as it does in the U.S. – to help and guide entrepreneurs in a non traditional VC-like manner. He said “Startups need more than just capital to succeed: they also benefit from engineering support, design expertise, and guidance with recruiting, marketing and product management.”
“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 European arm will have four general partners, including Eze Vidra, a long-time Google Executive who helped to set up Google’s Campus co-working space in London. Others include Tom Hulme, a serial entrepreneur, Peter Read who is a long time UK angel investor and Avid Larizadeh, head of code.org’s UK base who previously co-founded Bottica.com.
European startups could be attracted by the opportunity to establish ties with Google to make the way for a lucrative acquisition should the company be successful.