Omers launches £258m London-based VC fund for tech startups

Canadian pension fund with £55bn in assets previously invested in Shopify and Hopper

Omers, one of Canada’s largest pension funds, is launching a €300 million (£258 million) European venture capital arm based in London.

The fund, an offshoot of Omers Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of the C$97 billion Omers pension fund, will make long-term investments in Europe’s technology startups.

The fund will target companies at Series A-to-B stage, typically investing between €5m-€10m per round, while having the capacity to follow on with bigger, later funding rounds.

Previous Omers investments include e-commerce website system Shopify, in addition to its traditional property investments including London City Airport, Vue Cinemas and iconic buildings such as The Royal Exchange in the City.

The new fund comes two months after Omers Ventures made inroads into Silicon Valley, opening an office there.

Harry Briggs, formerly of Balderton and BGF Ventures, will lead the London team as managing partner.

Fintech investor Tara Reeves, formerly a partner with leading seed investor LocalGlobe has also joined.

Harry Gladwyn, who managed seed investments for the founders of AI developer DeepMind, rounds out the troika.

Briggs spent nearly six years at Balderton Capital and then three years at BGF Ventures. Briggs’ investments include UK unicorn The Hut Group, which has raised over €1.6bn, Magic Pony (acquired by Twitter in 2016), GoCardless, Paddle, Touch Surgery, Appear Here and Revolut.

As a partner with LocalGlobe, Tara Reeves led investments in, among others, Bricklane, Cleo, Cuvva, Floodflash, Tide and Trussle.

Briggs said: “Venture capital is increasingly a global business, and it’s exciting to be launching a substantial new European fund that, from day one, can draw on fellow team members across North America, as well as Omers’ global connections as an investor from Sydney to Singapore, and Berlin to Boston. In our view, those connections will help us give European founders an unfair advantage when scaling internationally.”

Omers Ventures currently manages C$800 across more than 35 investments in North America and Europe.

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Corporate venture capital