How Xooglers are Helping to Drive the European Tech Ecosystem as Founders and Funders

By: Rob Moffat, Balderton Capital. Christian Hernandez, White Star Capital.

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Last year, as two former Googlers in London, and as current investors in European technology startups, we though it would be a good idea to convene our former colleagues for drinks for what we’ve come to call “Xoogler Founders and Funders.”

Last week, over 70 current and former European Googlers, joined us at the Balderton Capital offices in London to reconnect with friends, swap stories about their entrepreneurial journeys and share new projects and ventures.

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Last week’s Xoogler Founders & Funders drinks at Balderton’s London offices.

What was apparent from the concentration of people in the room, is that Google has become a significant influence for the European startup ecosystem, and that a significant number of our colleagues have joined or founded startups, become active angel investors or, like us, joined or founded Venture Capital firms.

To highlight a few of those European Xooglers who have founded or taken a leadership role in a startup:

Graham Cooke, founder and CEO of Qubit, who has raised $75 million and counts a number of Xooglers as angels and VC investors.

Azmat Yuzuf And Omid Ashtari of CityMapper who is now live in close to 40 cities and has raised $50 million.

Marcus Foster of MRI analytics firm Klarisimo who completed YC and raised $2.5 million Seed round from Khosla Ventures, Atomico and others.

Rob Jonas who led InMobi EMEA and now serves as global SVP at Factual in LA.

Pierre Lebeau — Founder & CEO of home robot maker Keecker in Paris.

Gareth Davies — Founder & CEO of AdTech company AdBrain who has raised over $16 million through Series B.

Rabin Yaghoubi who has incubated a number of startups and is now Chief Commercial Officer for Babylon Health.

Ben Legg, part of the Google UK leadership team, and now CEO of global firm, AdParlor.

Adrian Blair, who joined JustEat in 2011 prior to its IPO and continues to serve as its COO.

Sagi Shorrer, co-founder of brain-training platform Peak Labs which has raised over $10 million.

Limvirak Chea, who led biz dev at Eventbrite Europe, invested in Peak and CityMapper and is now CEO of StreetLife.

Nicole Vanderbilt, who serves as VP of International for Etsy and was previously VP of International for Bebo prior to acquisition by AOL.

Ed Ungar who joined Onfido in 2015 as Chief Commercial Officer, before their $25 million Series B.

Roxanna Zea, who now serves as COO of Rentify in London.

And there are dozens of other Xooglers joining or founding startups across the consumer and enterprise space in all of Europe.

*We know we have missed many other examples, so please feel free to add more in the comments below.

On the other side of the table, we have also seen a number of Xooglers become investors in Europe with the likes of:

Bernardo Hernandez at e.Ventures following his role leading Zagat at Google and Flickr at Yahoo!
Stephen McIntyre who recently joined Frontline following a 3 year run as VP EMEA at Twitter.
Rob Kniaz, early Googler in California and London and founder Hoxton Ventures.
David Thevenon at SoftBank which will now be the world’s largest Tech fund at $100 billion!
Siraj Khaliq who joined Atomico after selling his startup, The Climate Corporation to Monsanto.
Dan Cobley who builds at invests in FinTech businesses at Blenheim Chalcot.
Petteri Koponen, founder of Lifeline Ventures in Helsinki and who was an early backer of Finnish unicorn SuperCell.
Rob Moffat, Partner at Balderton Capital which he joined as an Associate from Google.
Christian Hernandez, who founded White Star Capital after leading Platform at Facebook.

Plus easily hundred or more Googlers and Xooglers who have become active angel investors backing former colleagues and startups across the various European tech hubs.

The scale of Google, and the brain power it assembled across its European operations, is already having an impact across the European ecosystem and we believe that the Xoogler Founders and Funders group will only continue to scale in the years to come.

Thank you Google!

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