Nevermind austerity; European startups get public funds

Europeans are debating the relative merits of “austerity” versus “growth”, in light of France’s socialist election victory and downbeat economic indicators.

But technology investment funds operated by several national and regional governments have largely survived the chop.

Their latest investments were announced on Tuesday…

  • PlayJam – the connected-TV games aggregator is taking £538,000 from the UK’s £50 million Angel Co-Fund, which was formed in November with a grant from the UK government’s Regional Growth Fund and invests alongside English angel syndicates.
  • Mobile Backstage – The Finnish mobile app service, a platform for helping music artists connect with fans over smartphones and other platforms, is taking $1.3 million led by the Finnish government’s Finnvera along with Miston, company management and angels to open a new office in San Francisco, TechCrunch reports.
  • – the London-based women’s online fashion magazine and e-tail operator is also a beneficiary from the Angel Co-Fund, which has invested £7.2 million in companies since its launch.

The investments show that, as unusual as it may seem to some in Silicon Valley, arm’s-length public bodies, working together with private investors, have an important part to play in kickstarting European businesses.