OMERS VC Arm Launches Euro-Startup Fund

Move comes during a regional boom for new tech firms.

The venture capital arm of a Canadian pension plan has launched a new European fund geared toward tech startups.

OMERS Ventures, which invests for the $70 billion Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, created the long-only €300 million ($339 million) fund to capitalize on the rising growth in region-based startups.

“We have seen the European tech sector reach escape velocity over the past couple of years, producing more and more companies of worldwide renown,” said Damien Steel, OMERS Ventures’ managing partner and head of ventures.

The VC arm of OMERS will invest between €5 million and €10 million in companies during two funding rounds. The Euro-project will be run out of the pension fund’s London office.

“As the next step in our global expansion strategy, we are now committing dedicated capital to the continent’s most innovative startups because we believe the best is yet to come,” Steel said.

The firm has also added Harry Briggs and Tara Reeves, two entrepreneurs-turned-investors, to its roster. Briggs, now a managing partner, comes from Balderton Capital, and co-founded health drinks company Firefly Tonics, which he sold to Langholm Capital. Reeves, also a partner, co-founded car-sharing marketplace Turo, and joins from LocalGlobe.

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