Is Billion £ VC raise really that big in Europe?

TLDR: No. It’s less than even the quarterly VC investment rate in Europe.

There was a bit of chatter in the London startup investor community recently about the welcome increase in amount of funds being raised.

I remember Jon Bradford specifically mentioning close to a £1 Billion raised in a few months by 9 funds. There was a bit of a flutter around the group when JD mentioned the figure at #fplive – people wondering if all the money could even be deployed in the relatively nascent European / London tech startup ecosystem. Someone may even have mentioned valuation bubble, or some such gobbledygook.

Take a quick look at this chart from Dow Jones (source):

Click to view full image.

Last quarter VCs invested €2.4 B (~£1.8B) in European companies. At an investment run-rate of £1.8 B a quarter, and increasing, that £1 B raise in a quarter doesn’t look that big anymore.

There will be some additional liquidity from investment exits[1] – IPOs and acquisitions. But given the relatively young ecosystem in Europe – most maturing, successful European startups move(d) to the US for better valuation & operating environments – there can’t be too many exits providing the rest of liquidity.

Makes me wonder the other side now: If this £1 B raise is such a big deal, where has the VC funding been coming in from so far? We’ve been above a quarterly £1 B quarterly investing rate for over 6 quarters now. US VCs investing in Europe without direct presence?[2]

Either way, that £1 Billion figure doesn’t look as big as it sounded first up. And we really do need more of them, more frequently.

Continue reading Is Billion £ VC raise really that big in Europe?