Rory Stirling, ex-BGF Ventures, has joined London seed VC Connect Ventures – TechCrunch

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When BGF Ventures, the London-based early-stage venture fund of BGF, had a change in “strategy” in early 2018, seeing partners Harry Briggs, Rory Stirling and Wendy Tan White step down, it was always going to be interesting to see where the VC trio would land.

Earlier this week, this publication broke news that Tan White — who previously co-founded and exited SaaS website builder Moonfruit, and was also a general partner at Entrepreneur First — has joined Alphabet’s X (formerly Google X) as vice president.

Now TechCrunch can reveal that Rory Stirling has joined London seed-stage firm Connect Ventures as partner. Connect’s existing investment team includes Pietro Bezza, Bill Earner and Sitar Teli.

Before joining BGF Ventures in 2015, where he was a founding partner at the £200 million fund, Stirling was a partner at MMC Ventures, spanning a 10-year career in venture capital. During his time at BGF Ventures, the firm backed a range of tech startups, including Gousto, Streetbees, Triptease, Paddle and Roli. At MMC, Stirling led investments across consumer, marketplace and software sectors.

His software investments include NewVoiceMedia (recently acquired by Vonage for $350 million), Triptease, Marvel, Masabi, Reevoo, Somo, Brightpearl and Base79 (acquired by Rightster). His marketplace investments are Appear Hear and LoveHomeSwap (acquired by Wyndham). Consumer companies Stirling backed for MMC include Gousto, AlexandAlexa (acquired by The Luxury Kids Group), Wool and the Gang (acquired by Crafts Group Holdings), Pact, Tyres on the Drive and PayasUgym.

Confirming his latest career move, Stirling provided TechCrunch with the following statement:

I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Connect. I’m lucky enough to have worked with all three of the Connect partners on previous investments. Since founding in 2012 they’ve established themselves as one of the most focused and ambitious seed funds in Europe. Connect recognised the importance of building a differentiated approach from the beginning and are now well-known for their product-led thesis. As a result they’ve backed some of the most iconic product companies in Europe, including Citymapper and Typeform.

Meanwhile, I understand that BGF Ventures’ third alumni, Harry Briggs, has also found a new gig. According to my sources, he’s quietly joined OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Canadian pension fund of the same name. I understand he is helping to set up the founding team of OMERS Ventures Europe. The VC fund has previously talked about its ambitions to expand to Europe, and that appears to be happening, even though it is believed to still be in the formative stages.

Briggs couldn’t be reached for comment at the time of publication.



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