David Buttress, the former CEO of food delivery startup Just Eat, has joined venture capital firm 83North as a general partner.
In his new role, Buttress will aim to identify technology startups in Europe and Israel that have the potential to grow to the same size as Just Eat, which debuted on the London Stock Exchange in 2014 and now has a market cap in excess of $5 billion (£3.85 billion).
It’s not all that uncommon for startup founders and CEOs to move on to join venture capital companies and 83North, which has $800 million (£616 million) under management, was one of Just Eat’s first investors so it’s an obvious choice for Buttress.
83North helped Just Eat to raise a £15 million round in 2011 that allowed the company to acquire rival businesses in France, Italy, and Switzerland, according to The Times. Three years later, at the time of the IPO, 83North’s stake in Just Eat was reportedly around 5.7%, or £77 million. However, this was cut to 4.2% as part of the 260p-a-share IPO and 83 Norther went on to sell the rest of its shares at higher prices.
The VC has also backed the likes of iZettle, which allows independent sellers to take secure card payments with their iPhone, iPad or Android device, and notonthehighstreet.com, which sells personalised posters and other customisable products.
“The world of technology is diversifying from its traditional centre of gravity in Silicon Valley,” said Buttress in a statement. “The right combination of great entrepreneurs, disruptive technologies and financial backing is opening up exciting opportunities for world-leading technology companies to be created and managed out of Europe and Israel.”
He added: “As fellow Board members, I worked closely with the 83North team to build Just Eat into its world-leading position. Our approach and values are aligned and we have extensive experience on how to build successful global technology companies. I’m looking forward to working with the next generation of entrepreneurs to help build exciting businesses.”
Buttress, who left Just Eat in March, will be based at 83North’s London office and will work alongside 83North’s five existing general partners. He will initially only work two days a week, according to The Times.
Laurel Bowden, general partner at 83North, said in a statement that Buttress’ experience in scaling tech startups has the potential to benefit “every entrepreneur in the world”.