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Monday
Jul132009

Online Gurus Launch New Tech Venture Fund

A gang of serial entrepreneurs who made a fortune from online business have set up a  £30 million venture capital fund looking to invest in tech and digital media companies.

Profounder Capital has closed the first fund and is rumoured ready to invest and is hoping to double up cash available for investment to £60 million in the next few months. The main men behind Profounder Capital are:

   * Bebo and Birthday Alarm founder Michael Birch, who sold a social networking site last year for £417 million;
    * Brent Hoberman, the founder of Lastminute.com and Mydeco;
    * Peter Dubens, the founder of Oakley Capital and Freedom4 Group;
    * Jonathan Goodwin, the founder of LongAcre Partners, a media advisory group

Profounder Capital expects to announce additional individual investors to the fund in the coming months, adding further weight, wider interaction and increased experience.

"Our aim is to be a central force in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe," said Michael Birch. 

The fund is aimed to fill the slot between business angels and venture funding by supporting new businesses with capital, proactive advice and expertise to create long-term value and promote entrepreneurism

Hoberman, who co-founded Lastminute.com with Martha Lane Fox, added: “This is an opportunity for us to help nurture new initiatives at an important time when digital is becoming part of the fabric of our daily lives yet profits are increasingly flowing out of Europe.” 

The fund launch arrives on the coat tails of last week’s Digital Britain initiative by Prime Minister Gordon Brown aimed at making the UK one of the world leaders in science and technology.

The new Innovation Investment Fund has £150 million money to invest in business start-ups and spin outs in digital and life sciences, clean technology and advanced manufacturing.

Profounder Capital has appointed Sean Seton-Rogers as general partner joining Rogan Angelini-Hurll on the investment team. Seton-Rogers brings close to a decade of venture capital experience across the US and Europe. Most recently, Sean was with Balderton Capital where he worked closely with companies like Bebo, Wonga.com, MoveMe, and TouchLocal.  

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