Lakestar has hired Sam Gyimah as a venture partner. His appointment is effective February 2022. Gyimah is a former UK minister for universities, science, research and innovation and member of Parliament for East Surrey.
LONDON – Lakestar, one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms, is today announcing new hire and a promotion in its London office. Sam Gyimah, former UK Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation and MP for East Surrey has joined Lakestar as a Venture Partner starting in February 2022.
Strengthening Lakestar’s London office, Sam brings a deep commitment to innovation, and a wealth of expertise from his experience working in Parliament and financial services. His appointment comes at a time when understanding the legislative and regulatory landscape is crucial for investment decisions, as well as supporting some of the world’s most visionary founders to successfully scale their companies.
Sam’s appointment further underpins Lakestar’s focus on the UK market, where it sees significant opportunity for growth, and differentiation. Leveraging regulatory and political insights to create globally competitive European technology companies. Sam will also actively help Lakestar source new investment opportunities.
Lakestar’s advisory board already counts former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and former European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. Sam joining the team as Venture Partner further showcases Lakestar’s unique approach to European governments and regulators and value-add offering to portfolio companies with support and expertise that goes far beyond pure capital investments.
Currently a Non-Executive Director at Goldman Sachs International, Sam also serves on the Board of Oxford University Innovation, the spinout arm of the University, that backed Oxford Nanopore and Vaccitech, the technology platform behind the Oxford Astra Zeneca Covid 19 Vaccine.
Sam Gyimah said, ’Lakestar is a top tier fund with an enviable track record and a mission to help build a world-leading ecosystem in Europe. I’m proud to be joining such a talented and experienced team. In my role, I will be working closely with the next generation of founders to build great European tech champions.’
‘Regardless of where we invest, whether it be fintech or healthcare, innovative founders will quickly have to engage with government regulation. Being able to work with regulators and navigate these frameworks effectively can help boost growth in budding industries, like blockchain and aerospace. Europe needs to find its own way of regulating tech to guarantee digital sovereignty, but also to secure the future of wealth on our continent,’ said Klaus Hommels, Founder and Chairman of Lakestar. During his time on the boards of Spotify, Revolut and Klarna, Klaus has experienced the complexity of dealing with regulation first-hand.
Lakestar is today also announcing the promotion in London of Akis Bratsos to Principal. Having joined Lakestar from Goldman Sachs three years ago, Akis focuses on Healthcare and Digitization. He works with companies such as Eigen, accuRx and Pitch. Additionally, as an expert in go-to market strategies, he works directly with Lakestar’s portfolio companies to help them scale.
Over the last two years, Lakestar has made over 20 investments in the UK, with 10 fintech investments alone, confirming its presence and commitment to this ecosystem in line with London’s strong positioning in Europe. Notable investments include Eigen, Yapily, Revolut, Uncapped, streetbees and builder.ai.
Lakestar’s London team has now grown to 16 investment and operational professionals, led by Stephen Nundy, Partner and CTO, who joined four years ago after a 20-year career at Goldman Sachs.
Further hires are in the pipeline. These organizational developments cement Lakestar’s strong positioning at the heart of the European tech ecosystem.
Lakestar’s team now numbers 45 colleagues across three offices in Berlin, London and Zurich. This international presence allows Lakestar to support entrepreneurs locally and build bridges to help companies make the leap to a European and global level.
ABOUT SAM GYIMAH
Sam Gyimah was a member of Parliament for East Surrey from 2010 to 2019. He served in Her Majesty’s Government most recently as Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (2018) and previously held roles including Minister for Prisons & Probation, Minister for Childcare, the Minister for the Constitution, a Government Whip, and Parliamentary Private Secretary to former Prime Minister David Cameron.
Prior to entering Parliament, Sam began his career at Goldman Sachs where he worked across UK corporate finance, M&A and Equities. Sam currently serves as a non-executive director and adviser to Goldman Sachs International and the digital consumer bank, Marcus. Sam also serves on the Advisory Council of the Impact Investing Institute and the Board of Oxford University Innovation.