Lightspeed Venture Partners, the well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has backed the likes of DoubleClick and Snapchat, is in the midst of hiring a second London-based investment partner as it looks to put down further ties to Europe, TechCrunch has learned.According to multiple sources, Paul Murphy, whose investments include Tier, Hopin, Klang and Bunch, is being hired away from Northzone, the European VC firm that’s probably best known for being an early backer of Spotify. The signing is still in progress but could be announced in the next few weeks. Murphy has been at the Northzone for three years and was promoted to general partner in late 2019 when the firm raised a new $500 million fund in late 2019. I’ve reached out to Murphy and Lightspeed for comment and will update this article if or when I hear back.
Prior to VC, Murphy co-founded Dots, the mobile games company in New York. He also built and invested in various companies at startup studio Betaworks. (Notably, Murphy helped launch Giphy in the U.S., which Lightspeed ended up backing and later sold to Facebook for $400 million). Before that, he held several roles at Microsoft in the U.S., U.K. and India. He also holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from The IE Business School in Spain, according to the Northzone website. Meanwhile, the fact that Lightspeed is formally putting more people on the ground in Europe should come as no surprise to close watchers of the ecosystem here. TechCrunch first heard rumors that the Menlo Park-based VC was recruiting a partner in London as far back as August in 2019. That saw Rytis Vitkauskas join the U.S. as its first partner in London the following September, according to LinkedIn. Should Murphy’s recruitment be confirmed it would signal a significant expansion of a Lightspeed London “office,” and confirmation that the VC is doubling down in the region. Those rumors in late last 2019 coincided with news spreading that another Silicon Valley VC heavyweight, Sequoia, was also doing the same — along with talk of other U.S. VC firms — as European tech companies continue to create more value than ever before. Sequoia’s own plans were finally announced in November, including that it had poached Luciana Lixandru away from rival Accel Partners.