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Open Ocean launches €100m European software fund

Helsinki’s Open Ocean VC firm has launched a €100m investment fund for European software companies looking for post-seed cash.

Richard Muirhead, entrepreneur and angel investor in the likes of adtech platform AdBrain and payments provider YoYo, will join the company as a general partner and head the London operation “with a mission to seek and support extraordinary entrepreneurs, invest in disruptive, category-defining businesses and work together on their global success”.

The company has already invested early-stage funding in leading Nordic startups, and is led by the team responsible for driving MySQL’s $1bn exit in 2008, as well as backing the UK’s Import.io, Tapdaq and LoopMe.

The fund will focus on Series A rounds for companies looking at areas including SaaS, big data and mobile, but says it has capacity for “select” Series B opportunities too.

Open Ocean looks at taking equity on a “case-by-case” basis but says it always sticks to a minority share.

Richard Muirhead, general partner at Open Ocean, said: “I have participated in the last two decades of Europe’s developing tech ecosystem and I couldn’t be more excited at its prospects for technology-fuelled and entrepreneur-led growth in the next.

“There have been 40 $1bn tech successes in Europe since the year 2000 that have brought well-deserved confidence, fuelling further world-class innovation in sectors such as security, data science, blockchain, and cloud infrastructure and automation.”

The fund is supported by the EU’s European Investment Fund, Finland’s government-backed Finnish Industry Investment, along with other institutional and private investors.