European venture capital hits 13-year-high

Steven Loeb · January 26, 2015 · Short URL:

While investments were up, the amount of VC funding fell 18% to €3.4B

Amid debate about whether Silicon Valley is in a bubble or not, fresh numbers keep coming in that show significantly higher amounts of funding being thrown about into newly-minted startups, or private companies in general (e.g. - Uber wouldn't exactly be a startup).

Increasingly, exuberance for anything that's new seems to be catching fire across the globe.

In a new venture report out today, the amount of investments made by European venture capital firms hit an 13-year-high as some €7.9 billion was invested in 1,460 deals in 2014, up 1% percent in dollar value from 2013, according to a new report out from Dow Jones VentureSource on Monday. It was the highest amount invested since €10.6 billion was invested in 2001, the end of the US tech bubble.

Looking only at the fourth quarter of 2014, the sector that received the biggest investments was Business and Financial Services, generation €557 million through 80 deals, or 32% of the quarter's total investor.

Healthcare came in second place, with €535 million across 60 deals, or 30% of all funding. Consumer Services rounded out the top three with €327 million across 96 deals, or an 18% share.

The top five venture capital raises in Q4 were:

  1. Adyen BV, a payments company from the Netherlands, which raised €199.6 million
  2. Verne Global, a developer of energy efficient data centers from Iceland, which raised €78.24 million.
  3. Powa Technologies, an integrated mobile payments and e-commerce platform in  the United Kingdom, which raised €63.88 million.
  4. Cell Medica, an UK-based biotechnology therapeutics company, raised €63.87 million.
  5. AscendisPharma A/S, a drug development technologies company from Denmark, raised €47.91 million.

When grouped by country, the United Kingdom came out on top, with 21% of the deals, and 30% of the amount raised in Q4, followed by Germany, which saw 20% of deals, and 18% of funding. France had 8% of deals, and 12% of funding. 

The majority of investments made in 2014 came from in the seed or early stage rounds, accounting for 858 of the 1,460 deals, or 59%. Only 249 were later stage.

Comparitavely, in the United States there were 3,682 deals made and $13.8 billion invested, or roughly 55% more than the dollar amount going into European ventures. About 42%, or 1,543 of the US deals were early stage, while 1,208 were late stage. 

The state of the European venture capital market is pretty a mixed bag, though, as the amount raised by venture capital firms actually dropped last year.

The number of fund closings in 2014 was down by 4% to 76 from 2013, while the total amount raised by venture funds fell by 18%, to €3.4 billion, year to year. 

The number of funds raising capital rose 20% from Q3 to Q4, jumping to18, and the amount raised went up 33% quarter to quarter to €927 million, Even with those number going up, though, the fourth quarter of 2014 was still way off from the same quarter in 2013. The number of funds fell 51% compared with the same period in 2013, while the amount euros raised fell by 49%.

You can see how the numbers plunge in the chart below:

The largest European VC funding was a €160 million raise from Principia SGR, just beating out the €158.43 raised by Infocomm Investments. The only other €100 million VC fundraising came from Northzone Ventures.

While venture fundraising was down for the year, the amount being invested actually went up from 2013.

European companies raised €1.8 billion, in a total of 332 deals during the fourth quarter of 2014, a fall of 24% in the amount raised. In 2014 as a whole, though, European venture-backed companies attracted €7.9 billion across 1460 deals. That equaled a rise of 25% in euros invested, even while the number of deals declined 11% from 2013.

(Image source:

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