Benchmark Weans Europe


Benchmark Capital Europe is no more. Long live Balderton Capital.

The UK-based venture shop announced today that it is spinning out as an independent entity, seven years after being formed by its Silicon Valley namesake. It’s really a rebranding more than anything else, as Benchmark Capital Europe was mostly antonymous to begin with. It never held regular partnership meetings with the eBoys, and a shared carried interest arrangement was whittled away to nothing in the $550 million Benchmark Europe III fund that closed late last year (although the two groups continue to co-invest in each other’s funds).

“Our model since the beginning was to replicate what we had here in Silicon Valley, which means that they would be making their own decisions,” explains Benchmark partner Kevin Harvey. “The natural evolution of that is that they have their own name, and we’d expect the same thing to happen with our Israel office at some point in the future.”

Benchmark Europe has raised over $1.4 billion for three funds since 2000 inception, and has invested in more than 70 companies. Most of these are in the UK or continental Europe, but also a few in China and the U.S. (co-invest with Silicon Valley). The Silicon Valley folks also have co-invested the other way. For example, Kevin Harvey is chairman of MySQL AB, a Swedish open-source database company.

In a formal statement, Balderton partner Barry Maloney said: “”Independence, combined with a continued strong network of co-investment and affiliation with Benchmark, is the right way to move forward for our investors and our entrepreneurs. More doors and options will be open for each team, even as our relationships with each other remain strong.”