Making further inroads in the European market, Silicon Valley-headquartered innovation platform and early-stage investor Plug and Play has launched in the U.K. The investor which has earlier backed Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi has now roped in founding partners Jaguar Land Rover and BT Group to build and run innovation programmes in the country.
Spearheaded by Kieran Borrett, the Plug and Play UK team will partner with corporations to support their innovation ambitions and help UK-based startups access the world’s largest network of corporations and investors. It aims to make up to 30 investments per year into UK-based early-stage startups.
Speaking about the launch, Saeed Amidi, CEO and founder, Plug and Play, said: “As a global hotspot for innovation and home to a strong network of entrepreneurs, the U.K. has the potential to be one of Plug and Play’s biggest Innovation Platforms. Today corporations need to engage in open innovation to stay relevant, and we support them to do this on a global scale. We invite corporations, governments, and startups to join us in our mission to make innovation open to anyone, anywhere.”
François Dossa, executive director, strategy and sustainability, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are looking at the entire mobility and sustainability ecosystem to offer an unparalleled customer experience, shaping the future of our industry and paving the way to the future of mobility. We will explore everything from second-life batteries and the circular economy to new fintech, insurtech, and digital services – all aligned with Jaguar Land Rover as the proud creators of modern luxury.”
Meg Blight, startup partnerships director, BT Group, added: “Plug and Play’s international Innovation Platform gives BT a key route to connect with the best startups worldwide. Our partnerships and investments in this space are already accelerating the digital revolution at BT. We are delighted to grow our relationship further with Plug and Play as they establish themselves in the vibrant UK tech scene.”
The Plug and Play UK programme will begin with a Kick-Off Day on 21 June, with further corporate partners to be announced soon.