Two of the European technology scene’s greatest entrepreneurial heavyweights have joined forces to create an exciting new venture capital fund to support tech startups across the continent.
Michael Birch, founder of Bebo and BirthdayAlarm (and Smarta investor!) and Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Lastmintute.com and founder of Mydeco, are the two entrepreneurial leads of PROfounders Capital, which aims to plug the ‘equity gap’ in Europe. Oakley Capital and Freedom4 Group founder Peter Dubens and LongAcre Partners founder Jonathan Goodwin are also cornerstone investors, and combined the four have created a £30m ‘founder’lead’ fund.
"Our aim is to be a central force in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe," said Birch of the fund, whose launch was announced at last night’s TechCrunch Europa Awards. Hoberman added: "This is an opportunity for us to help nurture new initiatives at an important time when digital is becoming part of the fabric of our daily lives yet profits are increasingly flowing out of Europe.”
This will come as very welcome news to the most promising fledgling technology businesses around Europe. Brich’s social networking expertise and knack for creating cult-appeal sites with mass audiences combined with Hoberman’s insight into new sales models and ability to fully leverage the power of online to the advanatge of both consumers and suppliers / large companies (Lastminute.com) create a formidable base of understanding and opportunity-spotting on the net.
At a time when financial resources almost everywhere else are drying up, providing cash alongside such seasoned acumen will be invaluable for the young companies who successfully obtain funding. Not to mention the advantage of working with entrepreneurs rather than bank managers – as PROfounders Capital’s blurb puts it, this is a fund ‘for entrepreneurs powered by entpreneurs’.
The website explains: “Our aim is to invest in and support new businesses with capital plus proactive advice and expertise in order to create long-term value and promote entrepreneurism. We believe that the combination of dynamic new entrepreneurs and PROfounders Capital’s experience leads to mutual benefits, interesting long-term cooperation and a strong base for new ventures to flourish.”
If you’re a tech startup with disruptive ideas, big ambitions and never-seen-before technological innovations, we suggest you start preparing your pitch.