Benchmark makes European hire

The global venture capital firm has announced the appointment of Ynon Kreiz as the fifth general partner of its European funds in London.

Ynon Kreiz has been hired as a general partner in the London office of global early stage venture capital investor Benchmark Capital.

Kreiz, the former head of children’s entertainment company Fox Kids Europe, has been brought on board to expand Benchmark’s investment portfolio into the media sector.

Benchmark is in the early stages of investing its second fund dedicated exclusively to Europe. Benchmark Europe II closed in September last year with commitments of $375 million (€306 million).

Commenting on the appointment of Kreiz, Barry Maloney, general partner in Benchmark’s London office said in a statement: “We believe the combination of Benchmark’s background in early stage investments in technologies with Ynon’s operational expertise and track record will enable our firm to achieve significant return to our investors.”

Kreiz was formerly chairman of the board, president and CEO of Fox Kids Europe, which he founded in 1996. Following a sale of the majority shareholding in the company to Walt Disney in 2001, Kreiz left Fox Kids Europe in December 2002.

Kreiz is the fifth general partner to join Benchmark’s European arm, where he will work alongside Maloney, Mark Evans, Johan Brenner and George Coelho.

Benchmark Europe II is the successor to the firm’s first European fund, which closed in May 2000 on $500 million. Since opening in Europe in 2000, the company has made more than 30 investments across a number of sectors and geographies.

Founded in 1995, Benchmark manages more than $2 billion in committed capital and has offices in Menlo Park, California, London and Tel Aviv.