Until now General Catalyst has been better known as a US VC which performs occasional raids into European territory. But that changes with the bulletin today that Chris Bischoff, an experienced London-based investor, affiliates as Managing Director of its brand-new London office.
Bischoff raises with him an extensive track record of investment across the US and Europe, participating in the fund-raising for Avito, Babylon, Betterment, Cedar, VillageMD, Livongo and Cityblock Health, among others. He affiliates from the role played by senior asset lead at project and swelling money Kinnevik AB where he contributed various assets most notably in the healthcare realm but also participated in transactions alongside General Catalyst in corporations such as Livongo( now Teladoc, NYSE: TDOC) and Cityblock.
In a statement, Bischoff said: “I’ve known and hugely admired GC for many years and have successfully partnered with the team on multiple parties. I am strongly aligned with their purpose, approach, and cultural activities, so this is a natural step.”
General Catalyst is no stranger to Europe, having expended most recently in British used-car startup Cazoo, FinTech as a Service company Rapyd, and Collective, an online back office scaffold. It’s too an investor in Bloom& Wild, and most recently it preceded a $44 M Series B funding into Multiverse, founded by Euan Blair( onetime UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s eldest son ). It’s likewise a long-time investor in nutrient give startup Deliveroo.
Last year it secured $2.3 billion in uppercase commitments across three monies: a $600 million early-stage fund, a$ 1 billion growing store for fellowships with $10 million-plus in annual revenue and a $700 million “endurance fund” to back big business doing more than $ 100 million in sales.
In a statement Hemant Taneja, finagling spouse, General Catalyst said: “Having expended alongside and worked with Chris as a fellow lead, I know firsthand that he shares our commitment to backing and structure digesting fellowships with its full potential to materially improve the lives of many.”
Bischoff will be adding to the firm’s bench of healthcare investors established its involvement in Livongo, Cityblock, Oscar, Color and Ro Health, among others.
General Catalyst accelerated its interest in European and Israeli tech fellowships when managing director Adam Valkin met from Accel Marriage in London, creating with him spate of European savvy.
Valkin and Bischoff will race the agreements in Europe and Israel, and no doubt more effectively , now that GC has Bischoff with his feet under a desk in London, even if for the time being that will be a home office desk.
Valkin said: “Europe and Israel have unequivocally become major centers for global-scale innovation, and having Chris on the soil here is a huge asset for our firm. I have known Chris for many years and have discovered his talent as overseas investors, his outstanding portfolio, and importantly, his reputation as a trusted spouse for ambitious benefactors .”
At Accel, Valkin guided investments in Gocardless, Flywire, and Spotify, and then attached General Catalyst in 2013 to build out the New York office.
In an interrogation, he told me: “In 2015 GC started looking into Europe in a more serious way … perhaps a little bit more opportunistically at that point. We invested in a number of European firms like Brainly in Poland and Fiverr in Israel. And then 2016 was sort of a big year for us because we extended both a series A of Lemonade out in Israel, and a raise round and Deliveroo in the UK.”
He said GC decided to get a little bit more organised about Europe, and spent a lot more time with benefactors there, gradually ramping up its activity. “So, our European jaunt essentially began, five, six years ago. And we’ve become very active there, both in the UK in Europe as well as Israel. The great question for us was when would it make sense to have a team on the sand. And we actually got to know Chris about five years ago, in the context of what we were doing in Europe, and also just as a really important growth stage investor in Europe.”
Bischoff computed: “ If you look at what GC has done in Europe, it really is across both buyer and enterprise, and across the sector. I’ve done quite a bit in healthcare, clearly, a little in FinTech and consumer which are pretty large sectors in Europe … it’s not narrowly focused in Europe. The intention is to bring the full set of GC’s capabilities to Europe, and across sectors.”
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