Samsung NEXT, a $150 million global fund, is now poised to back European early-stage start-ups, to fuel more M&A activity in the continent. The announcement marks the start of the group’s expansion plans in Europe beginning with its Berlin headquarters, which adds to the existing international locations in Korea, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York and Tel Aviv. The team has plans to open additional locations throughout Europe within the next year.
Recently appointed managing director of Samsung NEXT Europe, Felix Petersen leads the European investments and M&A efforts. Petersen is a serial entrepreneur who was previously a partner at Faber Ventures in Lisbon. His career follows a number of successful exits including geospatial company Plazes AG, acquired by Nokia in 2008 and social networking service Amen, acquired by Tape.tv in 2013.
Samsung NEXT has invested in more than 60 companies and has partnered with thousands of entrepreneurs across the globe since its launch in 2013.
Samsung NEXT’s European arm will target early stage startups with a focus on fast scaling ‘frontier tech’ such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, augmented reality and virtual reality. The investment & M&A arm will partner with growth start-ups to scale their businesses through capital, resources, expertise and deep connections within Samsung’s ecosystem.
Samsung NEXT has also made 15 acquisitions in the past four years, including mobile payment solution LoopPay, cloud computing service provider Joyent, artificial intelligence platform Viv, and IoT platform SmartThings.
“At Samsung NEXT, we’re investing and acquiring companies in areas like AR, VR and AI to build the products and interfaces that will further transform how we’re connecting with the world,” said Felix Petersen, managing director of Samsung NEXT in Europe.
“I’m excited to lead our expansion into Europe. The combination of deep tech talent and cultural diversity makes this market very attractive. It also gives us a great opportunity to become the place for European entrepreneurs looking to build and grow their startups and turn them into revolutionary companies.”