Firstminute Capital, the startup investment fund from Lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman and former Goldman Sachs analyst Spencer Crawley, has raised another $US25 million (£19 million).
The money will be used to back startups across Europe, particularly those operating in industries like medtech, robotics, fintech, and artificial intelligence.
Firstminute Capital announced a first close of $US60 million (£45 million) in June but a final close of $US85 million (£64 million) was declared on Thursday.
New investors include Chinese tech giant Tencent, BlaBlaCar cofounder Frederic Mazella, Sir Paul Ruddock, who is the chair of the Oxford University Endowment Fund, and a host of other high net worth individuals.
Hoberman, one of the most well-connected men in UK tech and executive chairman of Firstminute Capital, said in a statement: “We believe that emerging European technology startups will continue to excite, and build on the momentum that has seen 47 unicorn companies built in Europe in the last 10 years. We hope to help the next generation of top entrepreneurs, both with our reach and by giving them credibility and support.
“We will invest not just in the UK, but across Europe. We aimed to raise $US60 million for our first fund, and are happy to have achieved that and closed oversubscribed at $US85 million, which we see as a strong signal for European technology. We believe the fund represents an unparalleled wealth of expertise to deliver on this promise.”
Previous investors in Hoberman’s fund include Alex Chesterman, cofounder of property website Zoopla, and venture capital firm Atomico, which was set up by Skype cofounder and former CEO Niklas Zennström.
Niklas Zennström, partner and CEO at Atomico, said: “Brent is a pioneer of technology entrepreneurship in Europe. For two decades he has done more than most to find, support and encourage Europe’s best founders.
“That’s why we were so pleased he became one of our Entrepreneur Partners last year and it’s why, when Brent told us about firstminute, we wanted to be his first investor. We share a firm belief in the future of Europe’s technology ecosystem so we’re excited to be part of this new fund as it backs Europe’s most promising early stage founders.”
Firstminute Capital will look to invest between $US250,000 (£189,000) and $US750,000 (£568,000) in early stage technology companies across Europe, putting it in a similar ball park to LocalGlobe and Passion Capital.
Unlike its rivals, Firstminute Capital will work in partnership with Hoberman’s other business ventures, which includes tech networking and events company Founders Forum and startup incubator Founders Factory.
Firstminute Capital’s investor base includes:
- Institutions: Atomico and Tencent
- 28 founders of billion dollar tech businesses
- 13 founders of $US100m+ dollar tech businesses
- 11 regional family offices
- 9 current or former Chairman or CEO of billion dollar businesses
- 7 CIOs of billion dollar plus funds