UK venture capital investor Ophelia Brown has raised $85m to bring West Coast investing practices to Europe’s tech start-ups.
She is investing with her first ever fund, Blossom Capital.
Brown, who worked at early stage investors Index Ventures and LocalGlobe, gained backing from West Coast tech entrepreneurs such as Robinhood co-founder Vladimir Tenev and Mikkel Svane, founder of Zendesk.
“We founded Blossom to offer Europe’s leading entrepreneurs a new top-tier VC fund that understands exactly what it takes to scale an early stage company into a global category leader,” said Brown.
“The European ecosystem has changed dramatically over the last decade, we believe that mission-driven entrepreneurs today want investors who match their ambitions and can help them reach goals far beyond what they thought possible.
“Too often founders have felt they need to go to the West Coast to raise their Series A, with our unique Silicon Valley ties and deep networks, we’ve set up Blossom to help change that.”
Blossom is a mix of investors and operators who have helped to build big names in technology including Facebook, Klarna and Deliveroo, and has an even split between female and male partners.
It will be holding dedicated office hours for female founders as it seeks to level the playing-field where women will get a chance to pitch their ideas to the investing team.
Brown established the networking and mentoring group Ambitious Ladies in Tech (ALT) in an aim to help gender imbalance across the industry.
The firm has two partners with engineering backgrounds — Imran Ghory, who previously led data-driven deal sourcing at Index and was head of data insights at MarketInvoice, and Mike Hudack, until recently CTO at Deliveroo, and previously director of product at Facebook working in both Menlo Park and London.
“Traditionally European Venture has been dominated by non-technical investors,” said Ghory.
“We’ve found having the majority of the investment team with engineering, product and data backgrounds at Blossom makes a huge difference to founders who know we speak their language.”
Blossom will be investing in European Series A stage consumer and enterprise start-ups across different sectors.
To date Blossom has backed Duffel, Fat Llama, Frontify and Sqreen, co-investing with tier one Silicon Valley and European funds including Y Combinator, Greylock and Index.
Ophelia Brown, one of Forbes’s 30 under 30 rising stars in 2016, created the London based fund in 2019.