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Silicon Valley investor launches in UK, partners with Jaguar and BT

Plug and Play UK

Silicon Valley-headquartered investor Plug and Play has launched in the UK, partnering with Jaguar Land Rover and BT Group.

Innovation platform and early-stage investor Plug and Play will make up to 30 investments each year into UK early-stage startups.

Through its partnerships with Jaguar Land Rover and BT Group, Plug and Play will run innovation programmes to enable connections between big businesses and startups.

“As a global hotspot for innovation and home to a strong network of entrepreneurs, the UK has the potential to be one of Plug and Play’s biggest Innovation Platforms. Today corporations need to engage in open innovation to stay relevant, and we support them to do this on a global scale,” said Saeed Amidi, CEO and founder, Plug and Play.

Founded in 2006, Plug and Play invests in a range of industries including fintech, insurtech, IoT, brand and retail, mobility, new materials and packaging, sustainability, food and beverage, travel and hospitality, health and supply chain.

Plug and Play invests in over 250 startups a year with previous investments including PayPal, Dropbox, N26 and Lending Club.

The Silicon Valley firm’s move follows a bumper year for UK tech, with companies raising a record £29.4bn. The UK is home to more than 40 unicorns outside of London and 100 regional futurecorns.

“Jaguar Land Rover is looking at the entire mobility and sustainability ecosystem to offer an unparalleled customer experience, shaping the future of our industry and paving the way to the future of mobility,” said François Dossa, executive director, strategy and sustainability, Jaguar Land Rover.

Jaguar Land Rover recently participated in Carmoola’s £27m seed round.

“We will explore everything from second-life batteries and the circular economy to new fintech, insurtech, and digital services,” added Dossa.

Plug and Play’s UK programme with begin on the 21 June, with more partners to be announced.

Earlier this year, the UK tech industry reached a $1tn (£764bn) valuation, a milestone that has previously only been reached by the US and China.