After announcing a new $85 million fund, starting Distro Dojo in London and setting up a pre-accelerator in Scandinavia called 500 Nordics, startup accelerator and seed fund 500 Startups is today announcing a slew of new investments partners and mini-funds around the world (e.g. Japan).
You can check the announcement for all the details, but here we'll focus on its news for Europe. Disclosure: 500 Startups is an investor in tech.eu.
Apart from London and the Nordics, there are four European regions where 500 Startups is focusing its attention on in the coming years: Eastern Europe, Germany, Israel and Turkey.
In Germany, 500 Startups has (finally) brought on board Philipp Moehring.
Previously an investor at Seedcamp and now responsible for spreading Angellist's wings in Europe, Moehring explains in a blog post that he will invest in European startups as a 500 venture partner, but continuing at Angellist as his 'main activity', to roll out syndicates in more countries in Europe (in addition to the UK, where it launched earlier this year).
As part of his new plans, Moehring now runs an Angellist syndicate of his own (and as an added twist, 500 Startups is actually an investor in Angellist).
In Eastern Europe, the groundwork for 500 Startups will be done by Diana Moldavsky, a former executive at companies like Yandex, OLX and Zeptolab (maker of Cut The Rope).
In a blog post, Moldavsky writes:
"I'm looking for promising new seed-stage tech startups with functional products (not just ideas), customer usage & revenue, and most importantly talented, crazy, passionate founders. My interest is in Eastern Europe, Russia/CIS, Israel, Central Asia particularly in consumer internet and consumer mobile startups especially marketplaces, shared economy and on demand services, educational apps and games, health and wellness apps, communication, advertising and monetization, SAAS."
In Israel, 500 Startups' frontman will be Adam Benayoun. The entrepreneur co-founded Binpress, a marketplace for software that helped developers sell licenses to enterprises and startups prior to 500 Startups, and was actually part of its accelerator program in 2013.
500 Startups has invested in 10 Israeli companies to date, and says it is looking to make between 10-20 additional investments here in the next 12 months.
Finally, in Turkey, Erhan Erdogan has joined the 500 team as venture partner. He previously worked at Webrazzi, fring and Yandex.
Question remains when (and if) 500 Startups has plans for other regions in Europe where there are tons of opportunities for aggressive early-stage tech investors, such as France and Spain, two major markets that don't have a dedicated 500 Startups venture partner on the ground today.