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Benchmark Capital Creates Balderton Capital

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LONDON, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The partners of Benchmark Capital and the partners of Benchmark Capital Europe are pleased to announce the creation of a separate European business, newly renamed as Balderton Capital. Balderton Capital will have approximately USD 1.5 billion under management, making it one of the largest venture firms in Europe. Balderton has invested in over 70 companies across Europe, Russia, China and the US in the software, hardware, consumer Internet and clean-tech sectors.

"Seven years ago, we were the first Silicon Valley firm to set up a group of investors in Europe. Today's announcement is the natural next step, given that team's emergence as a leader in venture investing in Europe," said Bruce Dunlevie, general partner of Benchmark Capital US. "It places all of us on a stronger, independent foundation for the long term."

"We have made excellent investments in companies including Bebo, Betfair, MySQL, Alphyra and Setanta, and more are on the way," said Barry Maloney, general partner of Balderton. "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."

This change - which will unfold over the coming months - will not alter existing fund or investor structures: it demonstrates the independence of Balderton and its maturity as a business. Benchmark's US, European, and Israeli portfolios have always been managed independently but have also been - and will remain - closely networked and substantially cross-invested. There will be no change in the Israeli team's name or organization, though the long-term goal is for it, too, to become an independent brand.

"European entrepreneurship is thriving, and we are doing this at the forefront of the industry. Balderton will continue to bring an aggressive, team-oriented approach to all our work, and our entrepreneurs will still continue to benefit from the same internationally oriented and networked group of investors," said Mr. Maloney.

About Balderton Capital

Balderton Capital is one of Europe's largest venture capital firms, committed to finding and helping talented entrepreneurs build great companies. Based in London, it manages approximately USD 1.5 billion in committed venture capital. Since 2000, Balderton has invested in over 70 companies across a wide variety of technology sectors and geographies, including UK, US, China, Russia and Scandinavia.

Notable investments include Habbo Hotel (the teen social networking site), Alphyra (Europe's largest payment processing network), MySQL (the open-source database business), Betfair (the largest online betting exchange), Setanta Sports (Europe's leading sports pay-tv broadcaster) and Bebo (the leading social networking site).

Balderton takes a team-oriented approach to venture investing. The partners combine Silicon Valley operating and company-building experience with a keen understanding of what it takes to build successful businesses in the European technology market.

There are six general partners and one venture partner. The general partners are -

Johan Brenner - previously Founder and Chairman of TIME Vision, a privately owned Nordic-based investment company focusing on early stage communication and information technology companies. As an entrepreneur, investor and board member, Johan built a number of successful companies, including Jobline, E*Trade Nordic, DebiTech and Tradera. Before that, he held various executive positions within the Kinnevik Group including the Modern Times Group and 3C Communications.

George Coelho - as one of just a few venture capitalists who has been an active, early-stage investor in every major technology market in the world, George brings significant international investing and company-building experience to Balderton. He spent nine years at Intel Corporation where he founded and led the international strategic investment group of Intel Capital.

Mark Evans - Mark spent 15 years in senior positions at Goldman Sachs Europe, Asia, and the US. He then became the CEO of a US software services company and an Entrepreneur in Residence at Benchmark in Menlo Park.

Ynon Kreiz - Ynon has considerable experience in the European media sector, having previously acted as Chairman, President and CEO of Fox Kids Europe. Under his leadership, it rapidly became the fastest growing pay-TV channel and most widely distributed children's channel in Europe and the Middle East.

Barry Maloney - Barry spent five years as CEO of O2 Ireland (originally Esat Digifone), Ireland's second largest GSM mobile operator. Before that, he spent two years at Xerox Corporation where as Vice President of first Business Development and then Channel Operations, he was instrumental in revolutionizing Xerox's approach to global marketing.

Jerome Misso - prior to joining Balderton, Jerome was a partner at the London law firm, Nabarro Nathanson, where he was head of the Corporate Finance Technology Group. He specialized in venture capital funding as well as mergers and acquisitions in the technology sector and represented several European and US venture capital firms as well as companies receiving funding.

And the venture partner is -

Klaus Hommels - Klaus is a seasoned entrepreneur and business angel. Prior to joining Balderton, Klaus spent several years as a private investor. He has a successful investment track record in European technology and media companies including Skype, Midas Player, StarDoll and OpenBC.

About Benchmark Capital

Benchmark Capital, a leading international venture capital firm, was founded in 1995 to help talented entrepreneurs with original ideas build successful technology companies. Benchmark's general partners take a team-oriented, labor-intensive approach to venture investing to deliver a superior level of service to the firm's portfolio companies. Benchmark's portfolio includes high-profile start-ups like Infinera, MySQL, OpenTable, Second Life, Tellme, Yelp, and Zillow, and franchise companies such as eBay, Juniper Networks and Red Hat. The firm manages more than USD 2.4 billion in committed venture capital. For more information on Benchmark Capital, visit its website at www.benchmark.com.

SOURCE Benchmark Capital Europe



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