Invest Europe: Private equity invests in record number of CEE startups & scaleups in 2020

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The number of CEE companies that received private equity investment in 2020 rose by 15% reaching 566, breaking last year’s record and the five-year average by 46%, according to the latest 2020 Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Private Equity Statistics released by Invest Europe.

Venture capital accounted for the bulk of the investments, backing 474 startups with a total of EUR 358m, down 4% from the all-time high registered in 2019. Overall, private equity investment went down to EUR 1.7b last year mainly due to the absence of large buyout deals involving equity commitments of over EUR 300m.

Top CEE investment destinations

Poland topped the list accounting for a quarter of the region’s total investment value (€431 million). Poland was also home to a fifth of the companies receiving funding. Estonia is second (21%), followed by the Czech Republic (17%), Hungary (14%) and Croatia (9%). Across the region, the leading sector was Information and Communication Technology, accounting for almost half of the backed startups and scaleups. Consumer Goods and Services ranked second.

Exits, IPOs and fundraising

2020 drew attention to the potential of the companies created in the region. Exits grew by 47% reahing EUR 1.4b, while IPOs hit a record EUR 690m. The statistics by Invest Europe show that CEE doubled its proportion of European exit value to 5.8% in 2020.

Private equity fundraising for investment in CEE, on the other hand, had a bit of a lackluster year, dropping to EUR 1b. Still, the venture capital sector managed to raise 667 million euros, the second highest amount on record.

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