UK Markets open in 2 hrs 19 mins

Father-and-son investment team raising $200m tech fund

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Raising: LocalGlobe’s Saul Klein. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for TechCrunch

LocalGlobe, the early-stage venture capital fund run by two of Britain’s best known tech investors, is seeking to raise a new $200m (£156.5m) fund, Yahoo Finance UK understands.

Two sources told Yahoo that LocalGlobe has begun sounding out potential investors about raising money for the “follow on” fund, which would be used to invest more money into startups the firm has already backed.

LocalGlobe confirmed they were sounding out investors about a new fund but declined to comment on the size.

The company said in a statement: “LocalGlobe’s new and existing investors are excited about the opportunity to invest in UK tech companies, both at seed and as they scale up, justifiably since the UK has now produced 60 unicorns or 35% of the total from Europe and Israel.

“We are exploring the technicalities of laying the foundations of a new fund, to be known as Latitude, for launch in 2019. This will enable us to invest in the most successful companies that are coming through from previous LocalGlobe funds at Series B and beyond.

“Initial conversations with investors have been going well and they are excited about the prospect of a new way to invest in some of the UK’s best early stage tech companies.”

LocalGlobe was founded in 2015 by Robin and Saul Klein, the father-and-son team who are well-known in the London tech scene.

Robin Klein has been active in tech investment since the early 2000s in the UK, backing businesses like Lastminute.com and Tweetdeck. His son Saul cofounded LoveFilm, the DVD rental business that was acquired by Amazon, before going into tech investment as well. Both Kleins were partners at Index Ventures, one of Europe’s most successful venture capital companies.

The pair set up LocalGlobe to specifically focus on “seed” investments — capital injections into very early stage businesses that are often seen as too risky for more established venture capitalists.

LocalGlobe has raised three funds worth a combined £160m since launch, according to CrunchBase. The firm has backed startups including money transfer business TransferWise, journey planning app Citymapper, and Improbable, the virtual reality software business that was valued at over $2bn earlier this year.