Posted on December 10, 2019 by staff

Former Uber exec joins VC firm in London


OMERS Ventures has appointed Jambu Palaniappan as its new managing partner in London.

The former Uber executive brings operational experience from the start-up world to the Canadian venture capital firm’s European team based in London.

His appointment marks the end of a successful year for OMERS Ventures in which it launched its new European fund and London office, hired ex-Balderton investor Harry Briggs and former Turo founder and LocalGlobe partner Tara Reeves.

It reports it has now invested more than €76m into the European technology ecosystem.

The early-stage investor in disruptive technology companies focusses on FinTech, PropTech, InsurTech, HealthTech and new technologies.

Backed by one of Canada’s largest pension plans, OMERS Ventures launched in Europe in March 2019 following eight years in North America that have included exits such as Shopify and Password Box, which was acquired by Intel.

Its European investment include WeFox, Resi, FirstVet, and Quorso.

“Europe is increasingly fostering companies with the ambition and disruptive potential to become global successes, and I look forward to joining Harry and the team and applying my experience to help the existing and future OMERS Ventures portfolio chart a course for worldwide growth,” said Palaniappan.

Joining Uber in 2012, he was one of the then 75-person start-up focused primarily on the US market.

He led its expansion throughout the EMEA region and India over the next 18 months before becoming regional general manager for Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Africa.

He subsequently headed up Uber Eats in EMEA from its inception.

He spent the past 12 months as executive-in-residence at the London-based venture capital firm Atomico. He has also been an angel investor, backing startups from a wide variety of sectors across the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Damien Steel, managing partner and head of ventures at OMERS Ventures added: “The scope of venture capital has broadened considerably in recent years, and investors need to add value in so many more ways than just signing cheques.

“But with less than 10 per cent of UK VCs having operational experience within a startup, it is clear that investor profiles have been slow to evolve to match these new demands.

“That’s why we’re so excited to welcome Jambu to our team – having overseen the Uber Eats business in EMEA and run the Uber business across a number of markets, he is perfectly placed to ensure OMERS Ventures offers the right support to the startups we back at every stage of their growth journeys.”