Google Ventures scraps dedicated European fund in favour of global operation

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Google’s venture capital arm is abandoning its dedicated European fund just 18 months after it was created.

The Farringdon-based European division of Google Ventures, which is being renamed GV, will be absorbed into a global fund from January.

The business said it did not mean the fund would stop investing in European firms.

A spokesman said: “This gives us more flexibility and dollars to invest in the best founders and companies, regardless of where they are based, and reduces limitations of a specific fund size.

“Aside from this, it’s business as usual for the team in London – nothing else changes.

“We’ll continue to look for great European startups to invest in.”

Google Ventures launched its European fund last year, giving its team a $125 million (£83 million) budget.

It made its first investment in February, participating in a $60 million fundraising round by Kobalt Music – the UK company that distributes music for the likes of Prince, Paul McCartney and Pitbull – and has since injected cash into five other businesses, including SecretEscapes.

Google Ventures’ boss Bill Maris told the Financial Times that the European fund had not met its target “dollar for dollar” but had matched the investment pace of its US counterpart.

The US fund was created in 2009 and has invested in hundreds of businesses, such as Uber and ‘smart’ thermostat maker Nest, which was acquired by Google last year.

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December 7, 2015 |
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