Balderton starts $300m tech fund

Oliver Smith
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LONDON tech startups are being targeted as part of Balderton Capital’s new $305m (£183m) early stage investment fund for Europe, that it announced yesterday.

Balderton, the tech venture capital fund whose investment record includes Lovefilm and Betfair, said the new fund would focus on companies seeking Series A funding – which is funding that was previously difficult to access in London.

“London makes up around 35 per cent of total European venture investing at this stage in 2013, it’s definitely the leading hub. Although places like Berlin and Stockholm are challenging that,” Balderton Capital principal James Wise told City A.M.

“Often people in London have a much deeper skill set, either with academic backgrounds or having worked longer in major companies from the financial, legal or branding sectors, and that means London has an edge in certain areas,” added Wise.

Balderton has seen success in Series A funding, most recently with Natural Motion – Balderton invested $8m in 2006 for an undisclosed amount of equity in the business, which it sold to Zynga for $650m in January – that it hopes to repeat. Balderton had nearly 10,000 European tech firms apply for funding last year with a number of UK startups, such as, GoCardless and Lyst, securing early stage funding.

■ NaturalMotion (2006) $8m funding for the firm that sold to Zynga for $650m.
Wonga (2007) led a $6m Series A round and a $22.5m Series B round.
■ LoveFilm (2003) venture funding for the firm that sold to Amazon for $200m.