Venture Capital: OMERS Ventures Shutters London Office Amidst Bleak European Tech Venture Scenario

August 9, 2023 | News, Venture Capital

OMERS Ventures will instead refocus on North America.

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) is discontinuing its venture capital (VC) efforts in Europe after four years and refocusing on North America due to better opportunities in the region’s technology sector. The pension fund is shuttering its London office and letting go of certain team members, among them one of its two managing partners named Harry Briggs, along with an associate. The remaining managing partner, Henry Gladwyn, along with another associate, will be moving to New York to oversee OMERS Ventures’ current portfolio of 18 European investments.

The decision to withdraw from Europe comes amid a 21-month-long global downturn in the technology sector, prompting OMERS to bet on North America’s stronger macroeconomic climate for the next few years. (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

This strategic shift is attributed to the persistence of the tech downturn, which has led to layoffs and reduced valuations in the tech industry worldwide. Many early-stage tech companies are struggling, while stronger firms are raising funds under more reasonable terms.

While OMERS had entered the European market in 2019 with a €300-million fund, it’s now focusing its resources on North America. The pension fund has a history of early-stage venture investing, being an early supporter of companies like Shopify, Hopper, and Hootsuite.

Although OMERS is exiting the European market, its commitment to early-stage VC investing remains with CAD$2.5 billion invested in the sector.

AustraliaSuper adds senior personnel to London office

Interestingly, earlier this week, the A$300 billion ($196.1 billion) AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest pension fund, appointed six executives to investment, risk and corporate affairs roles at its London office. The team will cover both public and private markets.

“We’re building a high-caliber and experienced team in London to ensure the Fund is strategically positioned in a market that will create many opportunities to generate excellent long-term returns for members,” AustralianSuper Deputy CIO Damian Moloney said in a release.

Related Story:  UK-Based Mercuri Lands $63.5M For Backing AI-Powered Media Technology Startups

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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