Two icons of the UK’s tech startup world are joining forces to create a new fund to address the so-called ‘equity gap’ in Europe. European Founders Capital (EFC) is being led by Michael Birch, co-founder of Bebo, and Brent Hoberman, who set up the dotcom bubble era Lastminute.com but is better known more recently for being a serial angel investor and co-founder of MyDeco.
EFC will have an initial $29.5m (£20m) of seed funding but is aiming for $74m (£50m) in total. The idea is to increase the availability of early-stage funding in Europe, which historically lags behind the US, and has led to a gap between early stage and Series A funding. Europe’s seed funding eco-system has never matched Silicon Valley’s in part because the business angel environment for technology is undeveloped and because European VCs have historically not reached much lower than Series A rounds, unless in syndication with other parties.