UK tech startups could be cut off from large pools of venture capital money if the UK exits the European Union, a Berlin-based investor has warned.
Luis Hanemann, partner at e.ventures, a venture capital firm with nearly $1 billion (£693 million) under management, told Business Insider on Thursday that a Brexit would prevent his firm and many like it from investing some of their capital into UK tech startups.
The EU allocates money to venture capital firms through the European Investment Fund (EIF) on the premise that they invest it into the most promising startups across the union’s 28 member states.
If the UK pulled out of the EU, then these venture capital companies would no longer be able to back UK startups with money from the EIF.
“We have some European money from the European Investment Fund,” said Hanemann during an interview with Business Insider in London. “This [referendum] could make it more complicated [for us] to invest outside of the European Union.”
The former Rocket Internet chief marketing officer was unable to disclose exactly how much of e.ventures $1 billion fund comes from the (EIF) but he said it was a “substantial” amount. e.ventures has invested in a number of fast-growing UK tech companies, including fashion startup Farfetch and fintech firm Azimo.
On Brexit, Hanemann added: “We hope that it’s not going to happen and we believe that it’s in the best interests of the European Union and the countries in there [for the UK to remain].”
The UK will vote on whether to stay in the EU or not on June 23.