- Blossom Capital raised $US85 million for its first European startup fund.
- It was founded by 31-year-old investor Ophelia Brown and is one of the rare female-founded venture capital firms in Europe.
- There is a stark lack of diversity in European venture capital, and Blossom says it wants to open to all founders regardless of their backgrounds.
A young, star investor has raised $US85 million for a new tech venture capital fund which aims to go up against the major European funds to target early-stage startups.
Ophelia Brown, a former general partner at LocalGlobe and principal at Index Ventures, has closed her first fund for Blossom Capital. The company will invest in firms for Series A rounds, mostly writing cheques of between $US5 million and $US10 million.
Brown, 31 years old, is well-regarded within the European investor ecosystem. Her backers include Tom Stafford, managing partner of DST Global; Robinhood cofounder Vladimir Tenev, and Union Square Ventures partner Andy Weissman.
Blossom is a rare female-founded venture capital firm, and its arrival on the European scene comes after the investment community has undergone considerable soul searching over its lack of diversity.
Statistics released in 2018 by Diversity VC, an organisation dedicated to improving representation in startups and venture capital, showed almost half of UK investors had no women in their teams. And just 13% of people making investment decisions in UK venture capital are women.
Blossom has touted its new fund as the fastest ever first-time raise by a female-founded venture capital firm.
Brown said Blossom won’t focus primarily on female or diverse founders, but that it does want to be approachable to all entrepreneurs, whatever their background.
“The European ecosystem has changed dramatically over the last decade; we believe that mission-driven entrepreneurs today want investors who match their ambitions and can help them reach goals far beyond what they thought possible,” Brown said in a statement.
Business Insider first reported that Brown was raising for Blossom Capital in February 2018. Aside from Brown, Blossom Capital’s partners include former Index investor Imran Ghory, and former Deliveroo CTO Mike Brown.
Former Uber executive Candice Lo had also originally been part of Blossom Capital as a partner but, Brown said, she has now left. Business Insider has contacted Lo for an update.
The latest partner to join the team is Louise Samet, an angel investor and one-time Klarna exec.
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