Hermann Hauser, the technology entrepreneur who co-founded several IT companies including Acorn and Advanced Risc Machines, is to set up a Silicon Valley-style venture capital fund in Europe.
Hauser told PC Week that the fund will focus mainly on UK and European IT start-ups, although US firms will be backed where appropriate. Hauser said the fund will be launched later in the summer, with an initial capital of #30 million.
It will not only provide start-ups with seed capital, it also aims to mirror the way Silicon Valley funds operate by providing management expertise.
Although the venture has yet to be given an official name, Hauser expects it will be called either Amadeus or the Cambridge Technology Fund. He declined to name the other backers.
Interest in European IT firms has been on the increase in the wake of the success of companies such as German-based SAP and Business Objects of France.
The Hauser fund follows the formation last month of another venture capital firm, Cubic Egg. It also coincides with news of Microsoft's plan to set up a research centre in Cambridge.
Hauser said: "Europe is doing quite well with IT, but we do not have the venture capital to make it worthwhile."
The problem with raising capital in the UK, according to Hauser, is that venture capital firms tend to specialise in management buyouts. "Only a fraction of the money goes into start-ups," he added.
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