Lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman has launched a £47 million fund to back early-stage tech firms in Europe.

The ‘Firstminute Capital’ fund has been set up with former Goldman Sachs analyst Spencer Crawley and will invest between £196,000 and £589,000 at a time in the continent’s most promising start-ups.

A number of entrepreneurs contributed to the new fund including the founders of Skype, Betfair, Zoopla, Skyscanner, Autonomy and Net-a-Porter.

"We believe that emerging European technology start-ups will continue to excite, and build on the momentum that has seen 47 unicorn companies built in Europe in the last 10 years," Hoberman said.

"We hope to help the next generation of top entrepreneurs, both with our reach and by giving them credibility and support.

“We will invest not just in the UK, but across Europe. We were aiming to raise $60 million for our first fund, and to have achieved that with oversubscription before our final close is a strong signal for European technology.

“We believe the fund represents an unparalleled wealth of expertise to deliver on this promise."

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Hoberman founded Lastminute.com with Martha Lane Fox in London in 1998.

Ex-Skype CEO Niklas Zennstrom, partner and CEO at Atomico, said: "Brent is a pioneer of technology entrepreneurship in Europe.

“For two decades he has done more than most to find, support and encourage Europe's best founders. That's why we wanted to be his first investor.

“We share a firm belief in the future of Europe's technology ecosystem so we're excited to be part of this new fund as it backs Europe's most promising early stage founders."

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