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Former Google CEO among top backers for new $111 million London-based tech start-up fund

Naomi Ackerman
·2-min read
<p>Firstminute Capital was founded by Made.com’s Brent Hoberman </p> (Nigel Howard)

Firstminute Capital was founded by Made.com’s Brent Hoberman

(Nigel Howard)

Former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt and Palantir's Joe Lonsdale are among top investors in a new $111 million (£87 million) London-based venture fund.

The second fund from Firstminute Capital, which announced its first close on Monday and is to launch next year, will be used to bankroll early-stage technology start-ups in the UK, Europe and the US.

Brent Hoberman, the co-founder of Made.com and lastminute.com, launched Firstminute Capital in 2016 with co-founder Spencer Crawley, formerly of Goldman Sachs.

Hoberman wrote that the success of the new fund - whose other big name backers include Ocado co-founder Tim Steiner and Snap chair Michael Lynton - is proof of "strong momentum for European seed venture capital".

He said it was "fantastic to enable so many global serial entrepreneurs to give their experience to the next generation".

He said: "European technology is reaching escape velocity.

"Seed venture investing is attracting ever higher quality backers which will help more founders succeed.”

Venture capital investment in European tech has soared in recent years, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said tech start-ups are to "help power our growth out of the coronavirus crisis".

The tech sector in London is one of the few to have seen growing numbers of job offers since the pandemic broke out.

Lynton told the Financial Times he was attracted by the growing opportunities in European tech and by the Firstminute co-founder’s network.

Hoberman also runs the Founders Forum, an events-led community aiming to connect entrepreneurs and chief executives and "accelerate the positive impact of technology on our world". It hosts monthly Founders Forum Live events online, with speakers at last week's event including the billionaire founder of The Hut Group, Matt Moulding.

The fund’s anchor investor is RIT Capital Partners, which has previously backed US Silicon Valley funds such as Seqouia Capital, and London-based venture fund Atomico is also on board.

Firstminute Capital is already based in London, Berlin and Stockholm, and is expected to open offices in Los Angeles next year.

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