ARLINGTON, Va. – Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group & Co. Inc. (FBR), a venture firm specializing in the Internet and other technology-related investments, has joined the ranks of American venture firms seeking a foothold in the European market.
FBR announced in January a strategic alliance with Dawnay, Day Lander (DDL), one of the earliest United Kingdom venture capital and corporate finance firms to focus specifically on Internet enterprises.
Under the terms of the agreement, FBR will seek to raise $20 million (E 19.8 million) for the DDL Internet Incubator Fund and has also acquired a minority equity stake in DDL. Launched in July 1999, the DDL Internet Incubator was the first privately financed incubator fund in the U.K. to focus exclusively on the Internet and its associated technologies. As well as funding, the Incubator offers legal, accounting and business development services and high bandwidth access to investees through strategic partnerships with Arthur Andersen, BBC Resources, COLT Telecommunications, Harbottle and Lewis and Microsoft U.K.
Although DDL seed capital, venture and corporate finance activities span the U.K., continental Europe and the Middle East, the Incubator Fund is dedicated to ventures based in London and its surrounding area. This close geographic focus mirrors the model used by one of FBR’s funds, FBR Technology Venture Partners, which concentrates on the hotbed of technology companies in and around Washington, D.C., dubbed the Netplex.
FBR set up a London office three years ago to extend its institutional trading and investment banking activities into Europe. The DDL alliance gives the United States group a base from which to expand its Internet venture capital reach into the U.K. and continental Europe.
Emanuel Friedman, FBR’s chairman and co-CEO describes the alliance with DDL as “a key step in a major initiative to create a number of joint ventures with strategic partners in specific Internet-focused geographic areas in the U.S. and overseas.”