Brent Hoberman

Brent Hoberman CBE

Firstminute raises a further £19m to invest in tech start-ups

The pan-European seed fund co-founded by Lastminute.com's Brent Hoberman CBE has landed an extra £19m to invest in start-ups across the bloc.

Firstminute Capital, which counts London-based global VC Atomico as a cornerstone investor along with 28 founders of billion dollar technology businesses, aims to invest between US$250,000 and US$750,000 per funding round and focuses mainly on HealthTech, robotics, FinTech and AI start-ups.

This new funding, which includes capital from Chinese investment firm Tencent and Frederic Mazella, the co-founder of BlaBlaCar, brings the total Firstminute has raised since its launch to £63.8m.

Speaking about the investment, Hoberman said: “We hope to help the next generation of top entrepreneurs, both with our reach and by giving them credibility and support.

“We will invest not just in the UK, but across Europe. We aimed to raise £44.8m for our first fund, and are happy to have achieved that and closed oversubscribed at £63.8m, which we see as a strong signal for European technology. We believe the fund represents an unparalleled wealth of expertise to deliver on this promise.”

Hoberman, who founded TravelTech firm Lastminute.com alongside Martha Lane Fox during the dotcom boom, has a long-track record of investing in technology firms such as Made.com.

Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, CEO of fellow investor Atomico, added: “Brent is a pioneer of technology entrepreneurship in Europe.

“For two decades he has done more than most to find, support and encourage Europe’s best founders.

“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.

“We share a firm belief in the future of Europe’s technology ecosystem so we’re excited to be part of this new fund as it backs Europe’s most promising early stage founders.”