Former Google finance boss, Patrick Pichette, has announced plans to head up a venture capital (VC) office in London with Canadian firm Inovia Capital, where he is a partner.
The $600 million (£464.7 million) fund, which will support both early and growth stage technology startups and entrepreneurs, aims to assist UK companies to grow both locally and internationally. It will also look to create opportunities for North American businesses to expand across the Atlantic.
Commenting on the move, Mr Pichette cited the UK’s strong background in intellectual property, its research record and its excellent universities as “huge advantages” for companies headquartered here.
“With the nature of the business with which we invest and support… it made a lot of sense to be in the UK to launch our European operations,” he said. “The UK [may not] have the same batting average as Silicon Valley, but that doesn’t mean the interest is not there.”
Whilst Mr Pichette says there is a decent amount of early stage funding available in the UK, there is “not much growth stage money, relative to the size of the opportunity”. The fund will therefore be split into $200 million for early stage startups, and $400 million for those in later growth stages.
The announcement is good news for the startup industry in the UK and will further serve to strengthen London’s reputation as a global leader in digital technology, with investment into the capital post-Brexit looking to remain robust.
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