Google Inc. (GOOG)’s venture capital unit, the business responsible for investing in Nest Labs and Uber Technologies Inc., has added a European branch with a $100 million initial investment.
“We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond -- SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others,” Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, said in a blog post.
Google has announced more than a dozen deals this year as the company added artificial intelligence, connected device, advertising and wireless technology. Google provides funds to the ventures arm, which makes strategic investments in startups. The company bought Nest, a home-automation service provider and one of its fundees, this year for $3.2 billion.
Four general partners will run the European operation, including angel investors Peter Read and Tom Hulme as well as Eze Vidra, head of Google Campus London, and Avid Larizadeh, an entrepreneur who helps run computer science-education group Code.org. Google Ventures is also loaning MG Siegler, a general partner at Google Ventures in the U.S., to the group to help set up the new office.
Mountain View, California-based Google has been expanding on the continent already, with offices in 21 European countries, and has built a Google Campus in London where startups can go for office space and mentoring. Last month, the company revealed plans to open a similar space in Warsaw. In January, Google bought DeepMind Technologies Ltd., a London-based artificial intelligence developer.
Internet companies are acquiring startups to bolster their existing businesses. Facebook Inc. this year agreed to spend $19 billion for messaging startup WhatsApp Inc. and $2 billion for virtual- reality goggles maker Oculus VR Inc.
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