Google is launching an expanded venture fund for Europe, with initial funding of $100m (£58m) to support and invest in the next generation of European entrepreneurs.
“We believe Europe’s startup scene has enormous potential,” said Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, on the company’s official blog. “We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond – SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others.”
The $100m Europe-specific funding will be made available from Google Ventures’ expanded London office. “We can’t wait to meet the most disruptive startups across Europe,” the Google Ventures team said.
Classified as “non-strategic investments” from the search giant, Google Ventures provides growth-stage funding to potential entrepreneurs in sectors such as enterprise and data, mobile, life sciences and commerce, among others.
Founded by Maris in 2009, Google Ventures has invested in more than 225 companies, including Cloudera, mobile phone taxi company Uber, IoT innovator Nest, DocuSign and Nimble.
Some of the disruptive startups Google has invested in are tackling challenges across a host of industries. For example, the team at Flatiron Health is improving the way doctors and patients approach cancer care, SynapDx is developing a blood test for the early detection of autism in children, and Clean Power Finance is making solar energy affordable for homeowners, Maris said.
“Startups need more than just capital to succeed,” he said, “so we set out to be a very different type of venture fund.” In addition to financial backing, Google Ventures provides startups with engineering support, design expertise and guidance in recruiting, marketing and product management.
“We can’t predict the kinds of inventions the Science Museum might showcase 10-plus years from now, but we do know European startups will be essential to this future, and we can’t wait to see what they create,” Maris said in his blog post.
The partners likely to be involved in the European Google Ventures will include London-based Eze Vidra, head of Google for European entrepreneurs; Google Ventures’ current partner MG Siegler; Code.org’s UK head Avid Larizadeh; and angel investors Peter Read and Tom Hulme.