Passion Capital emerges from White Bear Yard with $60 million fund to seed startups
by Mike Butcher on March 28, 2011
A new early stage investment firm is de-cloaking in London today. Three prominent Angel investors on the tech scene in London – Stefan Glaenzer, Eileen Burbidge and Robert Dighero – have been operating out of their White Bear Yard base in Clerkenwell for just under a year. Rumours circulated that they were looking to raise a real fund to continue their work, and now the news is about to break (ok, now it’s broken).
“Passion Capital” is a brand new fund aimed squarely at early stage tech startups and has closed its first investment at £37.5 million ($60 million).
This first fund for Passion comprises significant funding from the private sector, family funds and high net-worth individuals. In addition the UK Government has also invested £25 million via the the tenth Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF). This is a great exa,ple of where private investors can use the government-backed ECF scheme to de-rick their funds. Participating is Capital for Enterprise, an ECF programme intended to address a long-term structural weakness in the provision of risk capital for SMEs in the UK and is wholly owned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Stefan Glaenzer said “We’re passionate about innovation and disruption and building world-leading companies – not just about “models”. And our success in raising this fund shows the confidence from private investors and the UK Government in our track record and vision.”
Prior to establishing the fund the three partners have been intimately and directly involved as either founder or earliest executive/employee in 4 of the most significant European technology success stories (measured by market cap on exit) over the last 10 years (Ricardo.de, Skype, Last.fm, QXL/Tradus).
Glaenzer was last year named the best angel investor in Europe by readers and judges on The Europas and was also the first investor and executive chairman of Last.fm, seeing that company through to its sale to CBS (2007 USD $270 million). Prior to that Stefan was co-founder of Ricardo.de, one of the first European online auction and classified sites, sold to QXL.
Burbidge was investment director for private early stage VC firm Ambient Sound Investments, founded by the Skype founding engineers. Prior to that, she was products director for both Yahoo! Answers and Skype. She was also ranked #11 in The 100 most influential technology investors in Europe according to a PeerIndex ranking.
Robert Dighero was the former CFO of QXL/Tradus plc, sold to Naspers (2008 £1 billion) having guided the company from its founding to listing on four public exchanges. Prior to that, Robert was CFO and founding executive of AOL Europe.