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Google Ventures backs London startups Yieldify and Lost My Name as it looks to cash in on Europe

Sam Shead | June 26, 2015
The startup investments come after Google Ventures launched its $125 million European fund last year.


Google Ventures has backed London startups Yieldify and Lost My Name as it looks to cash in on the success of innovative European technology companies.

The $125 million (£80 million) Google Ventures Europe fund, launched last July, has been relatively quiet until now, with just two investments in the space of nearly a year.

But with two London startups announcing today that they've both been backed by the internet giant's venture capital unit, based out of an office in London's Clerkenwell neighbourhood, things appear to be heating up.

Yieldify, a two-year-old ecommerce firm, announced on its website an $11.5 million (£7.3 million) funding round led by Google Ventures and Japanese telco Softbank.

The company, whose software aims to help retailers sell products online by generating clickthroughs, said it will use the funding to further develop its marketing technology, while also reinforcing its teams in London, New York, Berlin and Sydney.

Co-founded by entrepreneurial brothers Jay and Meelan Radia, Yieldify will now receive support and advice from the only female partner on Google Ventures Europe six-strong team, Avid Larizadeh.

Justifying the decision to back Yieldify, Larizadeh, who led the investment and will join the board of the startup, said: "Traditional customer abandonment solutions still haven't cracked the code to retaining and converting online visitors on the web and mobile.

"Yieldify takes a novel approach to converting visitors into customers, enabling marketers to adapt and better understand online customer intent."

Meanwhile, childrens storytelling startup Lost My Name, said it had completed a $9 million (£5.6 million) funding round led by Google Ventures.

The startup's best selling product is a personalised picture book for children aged two to six called: "The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name". Customers enter the name of a child on the Lost My Name website and the company's software uses it to create a book of the child's journey to find it.

The founding team behind the children's story startup Lost My Name

"We believe our new partners will help us to scale our business globally and accelerate our mission to take personalised entertainment to an amazing new level, creatively and technically, and to make millions of magical bedtimes," said Asi Sharabi, co-founder and CEO. "

The round also included Silicon Valley venture capital firm Greycroft Partners, as well as Chernin Group, the Los Angeles-based media company, and Allen & Co, the US merchant bank.

"As a London-based start-up with global ambitions, we were keen to raise in the USA and connect to the networks and talent of the hugely important US market," added Sharabi.

Google Ventures made its first investment in February when it backed digital music services provider Kobalt. This was followed by an investment last Friday into the Oxford Science Innovation fund, a joint venture between the University of Oxford and its tech subsidiary Isis Innovation, to develop science and technology businesses.


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