Venture capital firm makes use of AI to search for start-ups in Europe

LONDON (Reuters) – A London-based venture capital firm that makes use of artificial intelligence promising start-ups in Europe, said on Tuesday had risen to € 53 million (£46.6 million) for the largest fund to date.

InReach Ventures is founded by Roberto Bonanzinga and John Mesrie, both earlier in Balderton Capital, and Ben Smith, formerly on Microsoft’s collaboration distance tool Yammer. InReach for the three-year development of the private AI technology to discover, evaluate, and support its investments.

Bonanzinga said European start-ups were spread across the continent, which means that many young companies do not come to the attention of companies in the large cities like London.

He said InReach Ventures was with the help of AI to sift through and evaluate data, for example, from blogs and similar sources to identify early-stage companies seeking their first institutional investor.

“Entrepreneurs can found businesses everywhere in Europe, from Helsinki to Barcelona, from Warsaw to Rome, and yet many fail to fall at the right time,” he said.

“If European venture capitalists, we need a new approach, that is clear and appropriate to deal with this geographical fragmentation and economic reality. We believe that the only way to achieve this is by means of a software-based approach, powered by the AI.”

InReach had invested in eight start-ups in Europe since it was founded in the year 2015, he said, including Lithuania-market start-up Oberlo, which was then acquired by Shopify.

The fund was particularly interested in start-ups in the consumer internet, software-as-a-service and marketplace, with typical investments of 500,000 to 2 million euros, he said.

Reporting by Paul Sandle. Editing by Jane Merriman

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