Softbank Europe Ventures has closed its Munich and Paris-based offices in favour of operating solely out of London. Details have yet to be finalised but it is expected that the London operation will end up being staffed by eight executives.
It was in May this year that Softbank UK Ventures and Softbank Europe Ventures were merged and the combined entity retained the Softbank Europe Ventures name. This structure saw four managing directors in place. In London there was David Sola, responsible for UK and Ireland investments, and Daniel Sasaki, responsible for Israel and Scandinavia. James Stuart was based in Paris and Marc Zugel in Munich. With the closure of the Munich and Paris offices Stuart moves to London and Zugel departs Softbank Europe Ventures. The May reorganisation saw money returned to investors – one being ePartners, itself a fund that has subsequently been wound up, – and the money the combined Softbank Europe Ventures and Softbank UK Ventures was left to invest fell from $900 million to $600 million. This was deemed a sensible adjustment given the change in investing environment since both funds were originally founded. It is understood that this latest retrenchment has seen further funds returned to investors.
The London-based Softbank Europe Ventures team will continue with the same geographic, sector and stage focus namely early stage technology companies in Europe and Israel where the firm can invest in A and B rounds of between $2 million to $12 million at initial investment.
Softbank Europe Ventures will announce two further investments in the coming weeks, one in Holland and the other in the UK.