Iconiq Capital, the US investment firm backed by Silicon Valley elites like Mark Zuckerberg, is expanding to Europe

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  • US investment firm Iconiq Capital is looking to hire an investment partner in Europe.
  • Iconiq Capital is best known for providing investment services to the ultrawealthy such as Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Filings show the company incorporated in the UK in December 2020.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

America’s most prestigious tech investors are continuing their march into Europe to hunt out promising startups.

San Francisco-headquartered Iconiq Capital is the latest company seeking to set up shop in Europe, incorporating in the UK and hunting out a local investment partner to fund European startups, sources told Insider.

US firms are increasingly heading to Europe in part because deals are a cheaper, with European startups yet to reach the steep valuations of their counterparts across the Atlantic.

Iconiq Capital operates discreetly, in part because it offers family office services to manage the wealth of Silicon Valley’s elite founders. Its clients are thought to include Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose net worth is estimated above $100 billion, and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, worth an estimated $2.1 billion.

An affiliated arm, Iconiq Growth, invests cash into fast-growing firms. Investments include cloud firm Snowflake, Airbnb, Robinhood, Zoom, and Uber. It focuses mostly on software-as-a-service investments, and says it invested around $1.1 billion into firms in 2020.

Four London-based venture capitalists told Insider that Iconiq was on the hunt for a new investment partner to oversee its European investments for the Growth team.

“Honestly, I think they are just contacting every partner under 50 at a European fund,” one UK investor told Insider.

A second said Iconiq had spoken to European venture capital firms for senior hire recommendations, at senior principal or partner level.

According to financial filings reviewed by Insider, Iconiq Capital registered a UK entity in December 2020. The filings name Divesh Makan, the founder of Iconiq Capital and a former Morgan Stanley banker, as the majority owner.

Iconiq founder Divesh Makan
Iconiq

With several of Europe’s biggest venture capital firms based out of London, such as Accel and Index, it is possible that any new hire will be based in the UK capital.

Iconiq declined to comment.

Iconiq has backed European firms such as the now-public Dutch payments firm Adyen, software firm Collibra, and buzzy Finnish delivery company Wolt.

General partner Greg Stanger is listed as investor and board member for Finland’s Wolt, though his LinkedIn profile states he is based in California.

Two early-stage investors Insider spoke to cautiously welcomed Iconiq’s presence in Europe.

One said it was a positive for the market.

A second likwise saw the arrival of big US funds in Europe as a validation of the market, and indicative of its “depth.”

However, this person also pointed to an earlier trend of US funds arriving in Europe and then abandoning the market and questioned whether the current rush would last.

Facebook investor Greylock Partners, for example, launched an affiliate fund in Europe, which became 83North but the two then split. US-based Benchmark likewise launched a fund in Europe, which split off to become Balderton Capital.

Insider previously reported the expansion of early Apple investor Sequoia Capital and Pinterest backer Bessemer Ventures into Europe. Microsoft’s venture arm M12, General Catalyst, and Lightspeed Venture Partners have all either established and expressed interest in a formal European presence over the last 18 months.