London, UK-based early-stage VC firm Hoxton Ventures has created a €6 million fund to exclusively back Irish startups.
The move is government-supported: Enterprise Ireland has committed €2.5 million to the first closing of the new fund, while Richard Bruton TD, Ireland's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation comments that increasing the availability of sources of non-bank financing is a core objective of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 (PDF).
Hoxton Ventures identified two new venture partners: Irish entrepreneur Dylan Collins (SuperAwesome, formerly Jolt Online Gaming and DemonWare) and Vijay Pandurangan, a former Google software engineer who now works for Twitter after selling his last startup, Mitro, to them.
Hoxton Ventures is a young $40 million VC fund aiming to 'bridge the gap' between Europe and Silicon Valley. It was founded in 2013 by Accel and Fidelity Ventures alums, Hussein Kanji and Rob Kniaz, and invests primarily in software-driven companies and services. Said Kniaz:
“We are excited to open up an Irish presence. Ireland has become a leading place for large technology companies entering the European market, and we think it has the seeds of innovation to build exceptional companies.”
Hoxton says it has been quietly meeting with Irish entrepreneurs for the last few months and has reviewed a 'large number' of investment opportunities, expecting to make several investments in Ireland-based startups over the coming three years.
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