Big news coming out from Britain. Passion Capital, a new investment company has just announced that they’ve closed a $60 million fund from both private investors as well as the UK government. Private investors put in $20 million and the British government upped the ante with a $40 million. Passion Capital features three partners, Stefan Glaenzer, Eileen Burbidge and Robert Dighero. The trio is among the most high profile angel investors in Europe.
Stefan Glaenzer was the first investor and executive chairman of Last.fm, which was later on acquired by CBS for $270 million in 2007. Eileen Burbidge was the investment director for the Estonian based VC firm Ambient Sound Investment. Robert Dighero has been affiliated with numerous M&A deals as well as being the CFO and founding executive of AOL Europe.
The fund aims to make approximately 50 investments into startups ranging from $240 000 to $320 000. However, according to some sources, the fund might go down as low as $25 000 to $80 000 based on the situation. The focus will be on UK and Europe based startups that have disruptive businesses in the mobile and internet sectors.
Due to the UK government backing the fund, it will primarily focus on startups that benefit the UK economy. According to Burbidge, “It’s easiest to meet this requirement if it’s a UK limited company, but otherwise if there’s service to the UK market and/or business development, sales or development in the UK, that will probably satisfy it as well.”
The private money in the fund comes from the partners of White Bear Yard, family funds and high net worth individuals. All three founders of Passion Capital are also partners in White Bear Yard. The Sweden based Flattr is among the startups financed by White Bear Fund.