Avid Larizadeh Duggan is leaving Google Ventures to
join music technology startup Kobalt.
The departure means that Google’s venture capital fund
only has a single partner left in Europe.
Google has struggled to build an investment team in
Europe and a series of partners left since 2014.
The exodus of partners from Google’s European venture capital
team continues: General partner Avid Larizadeh Duggan is
leaving the fund to join music tech startup Kobalt.
Kobalt gives musicians, songwriters, and rightsholders a greater
understanding of music streaming and which royalties they earn.
Larizadeh Duggan will join the company next month as executive
vice president and chief strategy and business officer. The
company said that she will lead its global strategy and business
Larizadeh Duggan led Google Ventures’ investment into Kobalt in
when the company raised a £40 million round of funding. At
the time, it was Google Ventures’ first investment in Europe.
This departure of Larizadeh Duggan means that Google Ventures now
only has one partner left in Europe: Tom Hulme. It also means
that the fund no longer has any female general partners.
Google Ventures launched in Europe in 2014 with a $125 million
(£92.6 million) fund and five partners. Now, four years later,
the separate fund has been rolled into the international
fund, and there’s only a single partner left.
Peter Read left the fund in 2015, and was followed by Eze
Vidra in an
announcement on Christmas Day that year. And former
journalist M.G. Siegler moved back to the US after helping set up
the fund in the UK.
Business Insider reported in 2015 that Google Ventures faced
challenges in building a working investment team in the UK.
Investors found that they had to contend with an algorithm which
was meant to help them make investment decisions but often caused
frustration. And the small size of the fund meant that Google
Ventures couldn’t make large investments in companies.
Larizadeh Duggan released this statement about her new
“As one of my portfolio companies while at GV, I had been closely
witnessing Willard’s inspiring leadership and the Kobalt team’s
commitment to build the music industry by putting creators first.
Kobalt is on a clear mission to bring transparency, fairness and
efficiency to the music industry as a whole through the
combination of technology, one of the best creative teams in the
industry and bold vision. To have the opportunity to drive
forward this mission and be part of Kobalt’s stellar team at such
a key time in the company’s growth, is a real privilege.”