Bauer Venture Partners
Bauer Media

Europe’s Bauer Media Sets Up Fund To Invest $134M In Startups Over 10 Years

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It’s only a few weeks since Google Ventures announced it’s setting up shop in London as a hub for investing $100 million all over Europe. Now another big fund has been unboxed by local German media firm, Bauer Media.

The new fund — €100 million or circa $134 million — will be invested in European digital businesses over the next ten years via a new VC arm, called Bauer Venture Partners (BVP).

BVP is not limiting itself to particular sizes or stages of investments but says only that its focus will be “highly scalable business models in Europe”. So startups then.

“We have a stage-agnostic approach without focusing on any specific phase like seed, early-stage or growth investments,” said Thomas Preuss, founder and Managing Partner of BVP, in a statement.

Asked which areas the fund will focus on he told TechCrunch it would be “mainly software”, adding: “We are open and fully return oriented… e.g. ad Tech, fintech, media, Health, SaaS, etc.”

The motivation for a media firm to be looking at startups is of course the omnipresent need to establish new revenue streams and maybe even figure out fixes for its own digitally disrupted media business models.

Basically, if you can’t beat them, invest in them and get a chance to share in the winnings/cherry pick the startups worth acquiring to build out and better your own business. (Or as Andreas Schoo, Member of the Executive Board of the Bauer Media Group, puts it in a statement: “We will also get access to new technologies, teams and innovations in the digital field.”)

Bauer Media has already been dipping its toe into startup investing, including co-leading a $6.7 million Series A round in Swedish health and fitness app Lifesum earlier this year.

In the fund size stakes, BVP’s fund is a little larger than Google Ventures’ initial pot — although it’s not clear over what period Mountain View plans to invest its $100 million. Google may well also step up the size of its European investment coffer in time.

Zooming out, longer-in-the-tooth European VC giants include Index, which recently raised a new early-stage $550 million fund for investments in Europe and Israel; Accel which closed a $475 million fund in March 2013 also mainly for Europe; and Balderton, which closed a $305 million Series A fund this April, exclusively earmarked for Europe.

[Image by TaxRebate.org.uk via Flickr]