blinkx founder Suranga Chandratillake joins Balderton Capital as general partner

2006 Young Gun to retain directorship of billion-dollar video search engine

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Leading European venture capital firm Balderton Capital today announced the appointment of blinkx founder Suranga Chandratillake as a new general partner, marking a return to London for the successful entrepreneur.

Balderton said that Chandratillake’s role at the firm will be to identify and lead early-stage investments in the online media and technology sectors.

2006 Young Gun Chandratillake will retain his directorship at blinkx, the online video search platform he founded in San Francisco and London in 2004, under the deal.

Since launch blinkx has grown into one of the world’s leading content monetisation platforms; valued at £125m when listing on the London Stock Exchance in 2007, it is now one of a select handful of UK technology companies to be valued at over $1bn, with an estimated worth of $1.3bn (£855m).

Chandratillake stepped back as chief executive in 2013, following a year in which the platform posted record profits of $17.7m, representing an eight-fold increase on the previous year.

The 36-year-old entrepreneur will continue in his role as chief strategy officer, with responsibility for leading the overall direction of the company.

Based in London, Balderton Capital manages more than $1.9bn of investments across Europe, principally in the tech and web-based businesses sector.

Notable raised investments in the past include Betfair, LOVEFiLM and open-source database software MySQL, all of which achieved successful exits following investment.

Commenting on his appointment, 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 mind set to European venture exceptionally well.”

Bernard Liautaud, general partner at Balderton Capital, said: “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.

“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.”

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