Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Google, has recently announced to stop its investment activities, carried out via the European fund separately, and perform as a global fund starting in January 2016. Google Venture Europe was only launched in July 2014 with an initial sum of $100 million (which was later increased to $125 million) to pour into European startups, but unfortunately, hasn’t demonstrated any exceptional activeness or general efficiency of working as a specific European branch.
So far, Google Venture Europe has only made 6 investments from the fund, 5 of them in UK companies (Note: European office is situated in London). Although the fund was supposed to cover the startups’ support across whole Europe, only one project was outside the UK: Stockholm-based virtual reality gaming studio Resolution Games. There were also some disagreements among Google Venture Europe partners reported.
All this made Google Venture authorities consider some changes in their course of actions. According to CEO Bill Maris, they will now operate as a global fund instead of running separate funds in the US and Europe. Basically, such changes will not affect any business principles, London team will act on usual terms. Such measures are supposed to bring more flexibility into Google Venture and allow them invest in projects regardless of their location and required funding size.
Since its launch in 2009, Google Ventures has already invested in more than 300 companies, including deals with such outstanding partners as Uber, Nest, Periscope and many more. At the moment, Google Ventures is trying to clear its public perception from parent Google brand and changes its title to GV.
In 2015, GV invested in 39 projects. Their investment goals and priorities in 2016 will continue to include such innovation focus areas as life science, machine learning, artificial intelligence and security.
Let’s hope to see more investments in Europe made by GV next year. And yet, some great news for European startups: recently Google has set up a new fund of €150 million to support digital startups in Europe. The world is waiting for innovative ideas! CEE, hurry up!
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