Bruce Dunlevie, one of the founding partners of Benchmark Capital featured in Randall Stross’ recent book eBoys, will be making his way to London this summer and intends to stay for a year.
Before Dunlevie arrives it is likely that Eric Archambeau and George Coelho, who joined the firm in the spring of last year, will announce two new partners who will work out of the London office. More partner appointments are expected to follow.
London is Benchmark Capital’s chosen base from which to tackle Europe. It has a $750 million fund to invest in Western Europe in high tech start-ups. This fund was raised last spring, although the original target was just $500 million.
It is expected that the two new recruits will be names known to the European venture capital industry because Benchmark is looking to recruit at partner level and has made no secret of its preference for sharing the firm’s carry equally between all partners across the group.
Currently, outside the US Benchmark is based in London and Israel. The Israel office was set up in November last year with a $200 million fund to be invested in Israel high tech companies by the three partners recruited to open that office. They are Mark Kremer (founder, chairman, and former CEO of Nasdaq-listed Broadbase Software in which Benchmark was the lead investor), Arad Naveh (ex-Cisco) and Nachman Shelef (ex-3Com Corporation, where he founded and ran Directed Startup, a programme that creates and incubates start-ups outside of 3Com.)
Archambeau and Coelho came from Atlas Venture in Menlo Park and ETF Capital, respectively.