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Pan-European pay TV giant Sky is expanding its startup investment activity into Germany and Israel.
The company, in which 21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake, unveiled the opening of an office in Berlin and a $4 million commitment to Israeli venture capital fund Remagine Ventures.
“The office will give Sky a local presence in Berlin’s ever-growing startup eco-system, enabling the team to better build relationships with investors in the region and to find the most promising entrepreneurs to invest in and partner with,” the company said. “In addition, the team’s remit will extend to scouting for the most relevant companies across Germany and also the Nordics.”
Remagine Ventures is a newly launched fund based in Tel Aviv, managed by Kevin Baxpehler, a former investor at ProSiebenSat1.Media, and Eze Vidra, a former partner at Google Ventures Europe. The fund will focus on technology startups within the broader tech, entertainment, data and commerce space. “Partnering with Remagine will give Sky more access into Israel’s dynamic and fast-growing technology companies, which includes a strong pool of talent in computer vision and machine learning,” Sky said.
Having first established its startup investment team in London in 2012, Sky subsequently opened a San Francisco office in 2014. Sky has invested in more than 20 companies in the U.S., U.K. and France, including investments in Roku, 1Mainstream, Elemental, The Rights Xchange and Drone Racing League.
“This next leg of growth will expand Sky’s access to the most relevant and exciting startups from across Central Europe, Northern Europe and Israel,” Sky said about its push into Israel and Germany.
“Six years on from our first investment, we’re expanding our startup activity across Europe and Israel,” said Emma Lloyd, group director of business development and partnerships at Sky. “Spending time in both Berlin and Tel Aviv has left us hugely impressed with the energy, dynamism and talent of both tech scenes. This is an exciting new chapter for us and we can’t wait to get started and uncover new, innovative startups across the regions and beyond.”
Comcast and Fox, backed by Walt Disney, have been bidding to acquire Sky, with a winner likely to emerge later this month.
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