Google Halts European Venture Capital Scheme

Google is planning to roll its European investment arm into its global operation only a year after bringing it to the continent.

That’s according to the Financial Times, which says Google Ventures Europe, which will be combined with the existing US business and renamed GV later this week as Google looks to operate as a global fund rather than running separate US and European operations.

However the current Ventures team based in London will remain together, and continue to look for new start-ups to invest in, the company told TechWeekEurope.

Expansive

Google Ventures Europe launched in July 2014 with an initial £100 million investment, which was later raised to £125 million several months later in an attempt to widen its sphere of influence.

Ultimately, however, the business only investing in six companies, five of which (Kobalt, Lost My Name, Yieldify, the Oxford Science Innovation Fund and Secret Escapes) were based in the UK.

Despite this slow pace, Google Ventures CEO Bill Maris emphasised that the European fund hadn’t ‘disappointed’, telling the FT that the scale of investment was similar to the US operation despite not meeting its targets “dollar for dollar”.

Any future European investments will henceforth be made from a single, global GV fund, Maris stated.

Google started the Ventures project back in 2009 to provide seed, venture and growth-stage funding for technology companies. Some of its most notable investments include $258 million (£171m) to taxi startup Uber, as well as being an early investor in smart home company Nest, which it later acquired.

Despite today’s news, it seems that Britain’s start-ups are growing at an incredible rate. Data from London & Partners has said that London’s technology firms have so far received £1 billion in funding, including £320 million in venture capital investment in the last three months.

This investment marks nearly three-quarters of the UK total of £1.4 billion, which makes 2015 the most successful year yet, eclipsing last year’s figure of £1.3 billion, and coming in at over ten times more investment in 2015 than in 2010.

And according to separate research by professional services firm EY more than 1,000 international tech investment projects were located in London between 2005–2014, significantly more than the next most attractive city, Paris (381).

What do you know about start-ups? Take our quiz!

Mike Moore

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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