London, 20 January 2014 - Balderton Capital, one of Europe's largest venture capital firms, has appointed Suranga Chandratillake, founder of internet media company blinkx, as a General Partner.
After 10 years based in Silicon Valley, UK-raised Suranga, aged 36, will return to London to take up his role at Balderton and will help lead early-stage investments in the online media and technology sectors.
Bernard Liautaud, general partner of Balderton Capital, said: "We are delighted to welcome Suranga to Balderton Capital as a General Partner. As the architect of one of the UK's most successful internet technology companies, Suranga will be a great addition to our team as well as an invaluable mentor to the companies in our portfolio. He understands what it takes to create global and long-lasting businesses and can draw from his own experiences to support the founders we back.
"At Balderton we are inspired and invigorated by the quality of top technology talent originating from Europe right now. Suranga's commitment to returning to London after a decade in Silicon Valley signals how closely he shares our confidence and enthusiasm to identify and back the next generation of European entrepreneurs."
Suranga founded blinkx, the intelligent search engine for video and audio content in San Francisco and Cambridge in 2004. The company grew quickly and was taken public on the London Stock Exchange by Suranga and his management team in 2007 valued at $250 million (£125m). blinkx, which generates revenue from online advertisers and whose technology is used by more than 171 million people every month globally, was one of the best performing companies on the FTSE AIM 100 in 2013. Today, blinkx is valued at over $1.3 billion (£855m) and is one of only a handful of home-grown UK technology companies to have exceeded the $1 billion market capitalisation.
In 2012, Suranga stepped back from day-to-day management of blinkx to become the company's first Chief Strategy Officer, a role that focused on strategy and technology development. Suranga will continue in this capacity and remain a director on the Board of blinkx, alongside his new position at Balderton.
Suranga Chandratillake said: "Balderton is a natural fit for me. They are a smart, lean and driven team that makes high impact decisions and has the flexibility of thought and action that fast-growing technology companies need from their partners. The firm also has a strong Silicon Valley heritage, complementing my own experience, and can bring the US mindset to European venture exceptionally well."
Before founding blinkx, Suranga was the US Chief Technology Officer of Autonomy Corporation, responsible for growing Autonomy's research and development division in the United States.
Suranga has a MA in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge. He also holds patents in the area of video discovery and online video advertising and was a 2012 recipient of the Royal Academy of Engineering's Silver Medal.
Carmen Murray, Powerscourt
+44 (0)20 7324 0496
Ellie Sweeney, Powerscourt
+44 (0)20 7549 0746
About Balderton Capital (@Balderton / www.balderton.com)
Balderton Capital is one of the largest venture capital firms in Europe, committed to finding and helping talented entrepreneurs build great companies. Based in London, the firm manages more than $1.9 billion. Since 2000, Balderton has invested in over 100 companies, principally across Europe. Notable realised investments include Betfair (the online betting exchange, 2010 IPO), LOVEFiLM (the home entertainment subscription service, sold to Amazon in 2011), MySQL (the open-source database software, sold to Sun Microsystems in 2008), YOOX Group (the online retailer of leading fashion brands, IPO in 2009). The current portfolio includes innovative companies such as 3D Hubs, Globoforce, Kobalt, Natural Motion, Openet Scytl, Talend, The Hut Group, Wonga, Wooga and WorldStores.
Follow Suranga Chandratillake on Twitter (@Suranga_blinkx)