Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Cisco, Emory, Texas A&M, Back $140 Million European Tech Fund

  • Notion Capital to invest in software and cloud-computing
  • Closes additional $80 million fund for follow-on investments

London venture capital firm Notion Capital has closed a new $140 million fund to back European enterprise software and cloud-computing companies.

The firm also said it has raised a separate $80 million fund to make follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies, such as CurrencyCloud, a cross-border payments company, Moveguides, which assists human resources departments with employee relocations, and Triptease, which helps hotels increase direct bookings.

Among those investing in the new fund are a number of North American investors who have not been involved with Notion before. These include Cisco Systems Inc., Emory University and Texas A&M University.

Stephen Chandler, Notion Capital’s managing partner, said Notion was eager to bring on U.S. investors, who seemed more receptive to Europe than just a few years ago. "Three years ago they were dismissive and saw no reason to come to Europe," he said in an interview. "Now, they are saying that they keep hearing interesting things about Europe and the mood is swinging in our favor."

Other investors in the fund include the European Investment Fund, the British Business Bank and Irish independent asset management firm Key Capital, Chandler said.

The $140 million fund will invest in about 20 early-stage companies, with an average investment of about 5 million pounds ($6.5 million), although some would receive up to twice that amount, he said. The fund has a ten-year life cycle.

Chandler said Cisco was seeking insight into cloud computing offerings originating from startups. "We intend to work with them to understand our portfolio and we want to get our portfolio companies in front of them so they can provide feedback on their products and roadmaps," he said.

Notion was founded in 2009 by a group of former senior executives at MessageLabs, an email and network security company Symantec Corp. acquired for $695 million in 2008. The firm said it was promoting both Chrys Chrysanthou and Patrick Norris to partner, the first not to have worked at MessageLabs. "The founding partners were all ex-MessageLabs and we didn’t want the team to only be that," Chandler said.

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