Google Ventures, the investment arm of advertising giant Google, has announced that it is casting its net outside North America with a $100 million fund earmarked for European entrepreneurs.

Google has a long history of investing venture capital with firms, the best of which it later buys outright. Android, the company's massively popular mobile-centric operating system, started life in this way. Its official venture capital arm, Google Ventures, has previously restricted its focus to North American targets with very few exceptions - until now.

'To help support the next generation of European entrepreneurs, today Google Ventures is launching a new venture fund, with initial funding of $100 million. Our goal is simple: we want to invest in the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs, and help them bring those ideas to life,' claimed Google Ventures managing partner Bill Maris at the announcement. 'We believe Europe’s startup scene has enormous potential. We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond — SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others.'

The new programme will see successful European applicants receive venture capital funding from a $100 million pot, and will join Google Ventures' 250 portfolio companies in receiving both the monetary investment and access to Google's engineering, design, marketing, management and recruiting support.

Details of the programme are available on the Google Ventures website. Thus far, Google has not named its first European investment under the programme, nor which companies it is currently investigating.

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