LONDON and GENEVA, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Highland Capital Partners, a venture capital firm focused on helping exceptional entrepreneurs build great companies, today announced that Sam Brooks has joined the European team as a Principal. Brooks was previously with Insight Venture Partners where he led and was involved in several key investments including PhotoBox, OverDrive, Groupalia, Mentez, Studio Moderna, 3P Learning, Privalia, Beatport, PerTrac, Netsmart Technologies (sold to Genstar Capital) and Primavera Systems (sold to Oracle).
Having spent over six years in the growth technology market Brooks' recent move to Europe provides a unique opportunity for Highland Capital Partners to add to their team. Brooks will be based in London and will work across Europe alongside Fergal Mullen, Laurence Garrett and Irena Goldenberg.
Brooks said, "I am delighted to be joining a team that I know well and that I have worked with many times in the past. With their global platform, Highland has an outstanding track record of being a value-add partner to exceptional entrepreneurs and management teams."
Fergal Mullen, who heads up Highland Capital Partners' European operations said, "Sam is a great addition to our team. We know him well and have seen him in operation on Privalia and PhotoBox. His understanding of Europe is excellent, as is his knowledge of what it takes to build a valuable technology company."
Brooks was educated at Harvard and Cambridge University; he spent time in the software industry with Cognos, Inc., prior to starting his career in venture capital.
Highland continues to see exceptionally strong growth across the portfolio. In March, Privalia, the Southern European and Latin American leader of private online sales, acquired Dress for Less in Germany; and Glasses Direct, Europe's largest online prescription eyewear store, completed the acquisition of the Sunglasses Shop. In July, PhotoBox announced the acquisition of Moonpig, the personalised greeting card company, in a transaction valued at 120m pounds. In between these acquisitions, the Highland European team led a $24m investment in Wooga, Europe's leading social games developer. Wooga's explosive growth has continued and the business has become the worldwide number three games developer on the Facebook platform. Organic growth is also very important for success and Spartoo continues to expand their leadership position as Europe's number one online shoe store.
About Highland Capital Partners
Highland Capital Partners was founded with the mission of helping great people build great companies. Since its inception in 1988, the firm has taken a sector-focused approach to investing in exceptional communications, consumer, digital media, healthcare and information technology companies. With over $3 billion of committed capital and offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, Geneva, London and Shanghai, Highland has invested in and worked to create such firms as Ask Jeeves, Avid Technology, CheckFree, Conor Medsystems, Coremetrics, lululemon athletica, Lycos, MapQuest, Navic Networks, Ocular Networks, Odyssey Healthcare, P.A. Semi, Quattro Wireless, Quigo, Starent Networks, Sybase, Telica and VistaPrint. For more information, visit Highland's web site at www.hcp.com.
SOURCE Highland Capital Partners