Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups is raising $15 million for a new seed-stage fund focused on tech startups in the Nordic region. It will be led by Sean Percival, a onetime MySpace exec who began spending serious time in the Nordics last year.
Percival will continue to live in California, but spend a majority of his time overseas. He also plans to hire at least one venture partner in each of the major Nordic startup markets (Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo), and also has launched a “pre-accelerator program” in Stockholm.
“I have a bit of Norway in my DNA, but for me this is really about my interest in early-stage startup ecosystems,” Percival explains. “I did this in Los Angeles before moving up to Silicon Valley two years ago. The Valley is interesting and exciting but it’s almost at the point of saturation. Here in the Nordics, the foundation has been laid and I want to help build on it.”
Percival, who points to research suggesting that Nordic startups are on their way to receiving more VC funding than are London-based startups, is able to discuss the fundraise because 500 Statrtups is one of precious few VC firms that utilizes general solicitation provisions of the JOBS Act.