Fund News


500 Startups looks to conquer the globe with 6 new partners

The firm also dedicates a $30 million microfund aimed at Japan

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
September 8, 2015
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There's a lot going on at 500 Startups right now, as the early stage venture capital firm/accelerator looks to conquer the world.

Just literally days after it closed its third global fund, at $85 million, the company has hired six new partners, each of which will be focusing on a specific area around the globe, according to a reportout from VentureBeat.

That includes Matt Lerner, formerly of PayPal, who will be investing in the United Kingdom, as well as leading the Distro Dojo; and former Yandex product manager Erhan Erdogan, who will be running operations in Turkey.

Philipp Moehring, AngelList’s European liaison, will be leading investments in Germany. In a blog post he said that he will be running an AngelList syndicate "where accredited investors can join every deal I’m doing."

"I’m thinking of this more like angel investing, and it will not be a full time effort. I will make a limited number of investments, and will mostly invest in companies and founders in my extended network," he said. "I have learned that I get access to the best deals that way. I will support companies I’m investing in like a good angel investor should - focusing on support for the founders and the preparation of the next round of funding."

500 Startups is also looking at Israel, with Diana Moldavsky, formely the chief revenue officer for ZeptoLab, will be focusing on Eastern Europe and Tel Aviv. She will be helped by Adam Benayoun, founder and former CEO of Binpress.

"In my wildest dreams, I had given some thought to investing in startups, but always believed that if the day would come, I’d like to join somewhere unique where I could make an impact. There is a lot of capital available to startups today, but most of it does not add value," Benayoun wrote in a blog post.

"I believe 500 Startups adds value to their startups. I have personally witnessed first hand how 500 Startups altered the trajectory of our company afterBinpress participated in the accelerator in Mountain View. They gave us access to a large network of mentors and investors, helped us with distribution and provided the support we so much needed."

Finally, 500 Startups has tapped former DeNA venture capitalist James Riney to invest in Japan.

Japan seems to be an important market for the firm. Not only did the $85 million fund have investors that included Tokyo-based Dentsu Inc. and Yahoo Japan, but 500 Startups has also set up a $30 million microfund, aimed squarely at that market, called 500 Startups Japan, according to a report from Tech in Asia. 

Individual investments from the new fund will range from $100,000 to $500,000. Including future follow-on rounds, 500 Startups Japan could invest around $1 million per startup. Markets that it will look at include virtual reality and healthcare. 

500 Startups had previously invested in Japan through a joint venture with NTT DoCoMo, which it entered into in 2013.

VatorNess has reached out to 500 Startups for confirmation of this news. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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500 Startups
Angel group/VC
Description: 500 Startups is an early-stage seed fund and incubator program located in Mountain View, CA. They invest primarily in consumer & SMB ...

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