Partners Stefan Glaenzer, Eileen Burbidge and Robert Dighero have launched early stage investment firm Passion Capital after working together on business projects at office space White Bear Yard in East London for the past two years.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ wholly owned investment arm Capital for Enterprise has majority-backed the firm with £25 million committed through the Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF). It is the tenth ECF since the programme launched in 2006. Funding from the private sector, family funds and unnamed high net-worth individuals made up the contributions.The investors, who raised the money in three months, say they want to target ‘ambitious entrepreneurs who have global ambition’, and have flagged an average investment size of between £150,000 and £200,000 in each business.
Glaenzer, investor and executive chairman of Last.fm, comments, ‘We’re passionate about innovation and disruption and building world-leading companies – not just about “models”. And our success in raising this fund shows the confidence from private investors and the UK government in our track record and vision.’
Prior to Last.fm, Glaenzer was co-founder of Ricardo.de, one of the first European online auction and classified sites, sold to QXL. Burbidge was recently investment director for private early stage VC firm Ambient Sound Investments, founded by the Skype founding engineers. Dighero was most recently chief financial officer for QXL/Tradus, which sold to Naspers in 2008 for £1 billion.
Capital for Enterprise chief executive Rory Earley says, ‘We have been impressed by the Passion Capital team’s entrepreneurial and operational experience, track record of success as angel investors and history of supporting SMEs.’
See also: Early stage funding – experience counts