Lastminute.com’s founder Brent Hoberman has raked in $60 million for “Firstminute Capital”, a seed fund exclusively founded for startups operating across the European region. Co-founded with former Goldman Sachs analyst Spencer Crawley, the fund will be seen investing between $250K (£196K) and $750K (£589K) in each startup.
Firstminute Capital claims to have been backed by Atomico, London-based VC fund founded by Skype co-creator Niklas Zennström and about 23 founders of billion-dollar tech businesses. It will be investing in tech-focused companies, especially those that are operating in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and internet of things (IoT). Zennström, in a statement, said,
For two decades he [Hoberman] has done more than most to find, support and encourage Europe’s best founders. That’s why we were so pleased he became one of our entrepreneur partners last year and it’s why, when Brent told us about Firstminute, we wanted to be his first investor.
Hoberman is serving as the executive chairman of the fund, while Spencer will work as head of investments. In addition, the company says it is in the final stages of hiring more staff. As per Hoberman, Firstminute stands out amongst other early stage funds because it has a very broad community of entrepreneurs that are ready to mentor. He had also said,
We believe that emerging European technology startups will continue to excite, and build on the momentum that has seen 47 unicorn companies built in Europe in the last 10 years.
He added they hope to assist the next generation of top entrepreneurs, both with their reach and by giving them credibility and support. Talking about the region that this fund will be targeting, Hoberman said,
We will invest not just in the UK, but across Europe. We were aiming to raise $60 million for our first fund, and to have achieved that with oversubscription before our final close is a strong signal for European technology. We believe the fund represents an unparalleled wealth of expertise to deliver on this promise.