Digital media leaders help fund UK internet start-ups

Four top UK digital media innovators have joined forces to set up an investment fund for fledgling internet companies.

The group is led...

Four top UK digital media innovators have joined forces to set up an investment fund for fledgling internet companies.

The group is led by Michael Birch, co-founder of social networking service Bebo that was acquired by AOL last year for £520m.

He has raised £18.4m so far in partnership with Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Lastminute.com and Mydeco, Peter Dubens who was behind Pipex, 365 Media and now Oakley Capital, and Jonathan Goodwin, who sold media-focused investment bank LongAcre to Jefferies in 2007.

They plan to double the PROfounders Capital fund by bringing in other partners to replicate the US Silicon Valley model of established entrepreneurs investing in the next generation of start-ups, according to the Financial Times.

The PROfounders said they will invest in "digital disruptive" businesses, such as digital health and education.

The fund will focus on investments between £500,000 and £1.5m in new firms to fill the gap left by venture capitalists, who favour more mature companies.

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