AV8 Ventures has closed on €150 million (about $170 million) for its debut early-stage venture capital fund to invest in seed and Series A startups in the U.S. and Europe focused on the “machine-enabled future.”
Allianz, a German insurance and asset management business, is the fund’s sole backer.
Headquartered in Palo Alto and London, the new effort is led by George Ugras (pictured above, right), the former head of IBM Ventures, and Miles Kirby (pictured above, left), previously a managing director at Qualcomm Ventures in Europe. The pair have brought on two full-time partners and five additional venture partners to hit its goal of 10 investments per year.
The AV8 team brings together technical backgrounds and strong business acumen, Kirby told TechCrunch: “That’s something fairly unique about us, we can really help the entrepreneurs as opposed to just investing and sitting back. Having been through this a few times, we can really help through the journey.”
“We think of ourselves as builders versus transactors,” Ugras, who began his career as an astrophysicist, added. “Quite often in venture you’ll notice investors get perked up around transactions, but the magic happens in-between rounds.”
Though AV8 is backed by a corporate, it is