Octopus Ventures Raises $284 Million Fund for European Startups

(Bloomberg) -- Octopus Ventures, the London-based venture capital firm, has raised 230 million euros ($284 million) to invest in young European startups.

The new funds bring the total amount of money Octopus Ventures currently manages to 1 billion euros, the company said Monday.

The new fund is 64 percent larger than the 140 million euro fund the firm raised in 2016. The company said it has made 16 new investments in the past year, including those in British software firm Origami Energy and market research and intelligence startup Streetbees.

Past investments of Octopus’s include online property marketplace Zoopla, whose parent company is now publicly-listed in the U.K. with a market capitalization of 1.5 billion pounds ($2.1 billion), Swiftkey, a predictive text tool that Microsoft bought in 2016 for an undisclosed amount, and Magic Pony, a video compression service that Twitter purchased for $150 million that same year. It also has stakes in online travel company Secret Escapes and mail-order snack company Graze.

"The resources we now have at our disposal will better equip us to support tech disruptors of the future," Alliott Cole, Octopus Venture’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. "The pipeline of high potential, fast growth businesses has never been so strong and we are excited about the seed and early stage ventures we can help scale."

Octopus Ventures is part of the Octopus Group, a company with investments in property, health care and energy as well as early stage companies. Since the venture arm was founded in 2007, it has invested in 89 companies and participated in 199 subsequent funding rounds, the company said.

It has offices in London, New York, Shanghai and Singapore.

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