BRITISH Business Investments, the commercial arm of the British Business Bank, is investing £15m in Balderton’s new technology start-up fund.
The state-backed lender said on Thursday that the investment is being made under its VC Catalyst programme, which has now channelled around £120m to 11 venture capital funds since its inception in 2013.
Balderton Capital is one of the UK’s best-known and biggest venture capital firms, investing in early-stage technology companies. It recently announced that it had closed its sixth fund, raising $375m (£279m) to invest in European tech start-ups.
The fund, which is backed by a range of institutional investors from Europe, the US and Asia, will continue to focus on Series A start-ups. The fund has already made 10 investments in five countries since March, including Bitcoin company Luno, caller ID firm Hiya and AI firm SOPHiA Genetics.
Balderton’s previous investments include digital investment manager Nutmeg and money transfer service Revolut.
“Our commitment of £15m to Balderton’s new fund will help innovative, early-stage technology businesses access the finance they need to grow and succeed,” said Catherine Lewis La Torre, chief executive of British Business Investments.
“The British Business Bank is the UK’s largest British-based venture capital investor, with over £1bn committed across a range of different programmes. At British Business Investments, the Bank’s commercial arm, we are actively seeking new partners with investment strategies that meet our strategic and commercial objectives.”
Bernard Liautaud, Balderton Capital’s managing partner, said Europe is now well-placed to produce technology companies of global significance.
“Europe’s technology sector has already produced many game-changing global companies, but we are still waiting for our continent’s very own Google, Amazon or Facebook to emerge,” he said.
“As European start-ups grow bigger faster, we are convinced that is finally about to change. With growth accelerating – this year to date European companies have attracted more than $12.5bn of venture investments – the continent can now produce and scale tech businesses of global significance.
“From AI to gaming, and music to messaging, Europe has built up reservoirs of world-class expertise which has inspired a generation of entrepreneurs with ten times the ambition of a decade ago.”