Wednesday - Aug 23, 2017

Google to set up a European venture capital arm

Google to set up a European venture capital arm

Google is reported to be in the stages of establishing a European-based division of its venture capital offshoot, regarded as being yet another sign of the social media giant’s growing interest in investing in the continent’s ever-growing number of high-tech start-ups.

Until now, Google Ventures has almost entirely focused their investment muscle on Silicon Valley groups, with some of their particular success as being Uber and Nest.

Google has set aside $100 million to establish an investment fund which will be entirely dedicated to fledgling European businesses.

According to David Drummond, Google’s senior vice-president of corporate development, tech ecosystems are getting bigger and stronger, and nowhere is this more true than in Europe.

“Every European capital I travel to I see these start-up clusters and it is becoming ever more obvious that some great companies will come out of these technology hubs in places such as London, Berlin and Stockholm.” Drummond went on to prophesise.

Google’s new European unit will have four general partners, among them Eze Vidra, a longstanding executive who was responsible for the establishment of Google’s “Campus” in London, which provides a framework for budding tech entrepreneurs, as well as a number of UK-based entrepreneurs and investors.

In charge of liaison between the new fund and Google headquarters will be MG Siegler, a US tech blogger become successful venture capitalist, who will be setting up camp in London to act as the principal liaison between the West Coast and London.

The new fund will be based in Clerkenwell in London, strategically close to a part of the UK capital, which has become known as the “Silicon Roundabout” as it has grown to become home to hundreds of fledgling tech groups.

The Google Ventures’ European team will report directly to Bill Maris, who heads the division. Announcing the establishment of the fund Maris stated that Google has made no firm decisions regarding size, number or type of investments the fund would make in the region.

Fledgeling start-ups will be undoubtedly attracted by the opportunity to establish ties with Google, and if the US model is anything to go by, it could well pave the way for an eventual multi-billion-dollar acquisition by the internet giant, who has seen to become increasingly inclined to invest in startups, especially ones that they had invested in through Google Ventures.

In January of this year, Google paid out $3.2 billion for Nest, who manufacture smart thermostats and smoke alarms, after having previously invested in the company as a start-up in 2011.

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