The members of Google’s new European VC fund were gathered in one place for the first time Monday morning at TechCrunch’s Disrupt Europe conference. The new fund has $US100 million to spend each year, compared to the $US300 million that the US arm has to play with. From left to right, here’s who they are:
Vidra is best known as the former head of Google’s London Campus, a workspace for early-stage tech startups. On stage at Disrupt, he explained that the Google Ventures fund is looking to “do something different in Europe,” remarking that “there’s a lot to learn from our colleagues in the US.”
Interestingly, Vidra explained the unorthodox way that Google Ventures is being contacted by companies. There’s no contact form on its website, he says “because then there’s an expectation that we will get back to you in a timely manner.” According to Vidra, startup founders are getting in touch with the team by post, social media, or through introductions.
Former TechCrunch writer MG Siegler joins Google’s new European team after working for their US venture capital fund. He explained that “Google Ventures has been going for five years, people know we’re doing a pretty good job over there.” Siegler went on to say that the new European team will be working closely with their US counterparts: “Europe is the next logical step. This is Google Ventures as an entire team, we all just spent the past couple of weeks in the US getting to know the rest of the team.”
Read is one of Europe’s most prolific VCs, having invested in a large number of both early stage and established companies. On stage at Disrupt, he explained that he joined Google Ventures in order to gain a “much bigger check book” to play with. Additionally, he said, the new fund offers a “suite of services” around engineering, recruitment and design.
Larizadeh is a former startup founder and employee, having worked for Skype and eBay before founding fashion startup Boticca. She explained that she wants to help tech startups through the downtimes of the startup cycles, helping startups shed employees and restructure, as well as the ups.
As well as a design director at IDEO London, the legendary design company, Hulme is now a partner at Google Ventures Europe. He explained that design teams are often the most important part of startups. Additionally, he went on to mention that the morning after the announcement came that he was joining Google Ventures, he woke up to 700 emails.