Google’s Former CEO Schmidt Invests In New $111 Million EU Tech Fund

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Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is among the backers of a new $111 million European early-stage venture capital fund, according to CNBC.

Schmidt, whose net worth is $20 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, put an undisclosed amount into the fund, which was announced Monday (Nov. 30) by London-based venture capital firm Firstminute Capital, CNBC reported.

The new fund’s main investor is RIT Capital Partners. Tencent, the Chinese tech giant, alongside venture firm Atomico and private equity firm Vitruvian, are also contributing, CNBC reported. Other backers include the big data firm Palantir, gaming firm Supercell and eCommerce firm Zalando.

This new fund, the second under Firstminute’s umbrella, will bring the total assets under management to $211 million, building upon the $100 million fund it launched with several years ago. The firm was launched in 2017 by Lastminute.com Co-Founder Brent Hoberman and Spencer Crawley, an ex-Goldman Sachs analyst, CNBC reported.

Hoberman has grown to be considered one of the most well-connected tech investors in Europe, with an education spanning Eton, and then Harvard, according to CNBC. He also has connections with the Prime Minister and other government departments. He also founded furniture retailer Made.com, tech networking business Founders Forum and startup accelerator Founders Factory.

Hoberman, in a quote from CNBC, said European technology is “reaching escape velocity” and that seed venture investing is “attracting ever higher quality backers which will help more founders succeed.”

London’s financial services market, set for tumult no matter what with the advent of Brexit, has been further roiled by the pandemic, PYMNTS reported. London has the world’s second-largest financial market and has proved a fruitful place for FinTechs.

Innovate Finance CEO Charlotte Crosswell noted the potential of crises, like the 2008 financial crisis, to push payments tech forward as people and companies suddenly need new types of services to survive.

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