The firm claims to have around two dozen founders of billion-dollar tech businesses on board, and it has nabbed a notable “cornerstone investor” in the form of Atomico, a fellow London-based VC fund founded by Skype co-creator Niklas Zennström. Atomico actually signed up Hoberman last January as part of a new entrepreneur partners program.
“For two decades, he [Hoberman] has done more than most to find, support, and encourage Europe’s best founders,” noted Zennström. “That’s why we were so pleased he became one of our entrepreneur partners last year and it’s why, when Brent told us about Firstminute, we wanted to be his first investor.”
Along with Hoberman, Firstminute Capital was cofounded by Spencer Crawley, who will serve as head of investments, and the company confirmed that it’s in its “final stages” of making further hires.
Firstminute said that it plans to invest up to $750,000 in early-stage European businesses at valuations of less than $10 million, providing startups with “more than 18 months of runway.”
“We hope to help the next generation of top entrepreneurs, both with our reach and by giving them credibility and support,” added Hoberman. “We will invest not just in the U.K., but across Europe. We were aiming to raise $60 million for our first fund and to have achieved that with oversubscription before our final close is a strong signal for European technology. ”
A number of funds aimed at European startups have come to fruition over the past year or so — back in February, Atomico closed a $765 million pot, one of the biggest funds to emerge from the region. Elsewhere, 83North announced an oversubscribed $250 million fourth fund for European and Israeli startups; Partech Ventures closed $440 million and $108 million funds for growth- and early-stage startups, respectively; Northzone closed a $335 million fund; and Index Ventures closed a $550 million fund for seed and venture investments in Europe, Israel, and the U.S.