There seems to be enough pre-seed and seed funding throughout Central and Eastern Europe already. Not least, thanks to EU -backed early-stage funds that have been established in the past five years. Series A and later funding rounds, however, are still a challenge for many founders.
In its latest report, the intelligence platform Dealroom in collaboration with LocalGlobe gives an overview of the Series A landscape in Europe. Of course, London, Berlin, and Paris are the three hotspots where over two-thirds of all rounds of this size flow. But what about startups and scaleups that are headquartered somewhere else in Europe, and don’t necessarily want to move to one of the mega hubs where operational costs go bananas and talent market is exhausted?
The old, the new and the mega Series A
There’s been a shift in the European Series A investment size in the past years, shows the report. Between 2014 and 2018 the number of Series A investments has doubled. Moreover, the size of the rounds has changed. New ($7-15m) and Mega (>$15m) Series A have become notably more common in Europe relatively to Old ($4-7m) Series A across most geographies and categories, reads the report.
The observation is based on almost 2.3k Series A rounds recorded between 2014 and 2018. Of those, 716 rounds were in the range of $4m-$15m and occurred around the fifth year since the company’s founding. Interestingly enough, for 681 of the companies, these were the first funding rounds ever. Does this mean that many companies in Europe already make it to Series A by bootstrapping? We don’t really have the data to confirm this and it would mean that close to one-third of European startups don’t need seed funding – what the majority of European investors seem to be offering.
Outside the mega hubs
Here’s a list of the VCs that lead Series A rounds (invest at least 30% of the round) outside their countries. To make it all more convenient for fundraising founders, we dug deeper and added the focus of each of them to the table.
|VC fund name||HQ||% of qualifies Series A rounds outside of HQ country||focus/ notable investments|
|Northzone||London||90%||fintech, e-commerce, media, B2B SaaS, companies that take a mobile-first approach// Spotify, iZettle, Trustpilot, Avito, Klarna, Wallapop Lastminute.com, Pricerunner, NextGenTel, and Stepstone|
|Heartcore Capital||Copenhagen||86%||consumer only VC// Prezi, TravelPerk, GetYourGuide|
|DN Capital||London||85%||fintech, proptech, travel, digital health, enterprise software, digital media,eCommerce, online marketplaces// Shazam, Auto1, Purplebricks, Endeca, HomeToGo and Remitly|
|Creandum||Stockholm||75%||fast-growing technology companies within consumer, software and hardware industries// Spotify, iZettle, Billie, Bolt, Voi|
|EQT Ventures||Stockholm||73%||tech companies //Booking.com, Uber, King and Spotify|
|Earlybird Venture Capital||Berlin||67%||digital, AI, health tech// Fite, N26, Uber Cloud, UiPath|
|Accel Partners||London||61%||consumer, developer, security, marketplace, SaaS //Atlassian, Braintree, Cloudera, DJI, Dropbox, Dropcam, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Lookout Security, MoPub, Qualtrics, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, Vox Media|
|Index Ventures||London||55%||business services, fintech, infrastructure, entertainment //Adyen, Deliveroo, Dropbox, Farfetch, King, Slack and Supercell|
|Atomico||London||54%||new consumer technologies that have the potential to transform markets //Supercell, Graphcore, Omio, Klarna, Lilium, MessageBird, MasterClass|
|Ventech||Paris||50%||B2B software, consumer, hardware, media, marketplace// Biovex, Jimubox|
|Balderton Capital||London||48%||fintech, AI, games (recent fund) //MySQL, Workable, Revolut|
|Mosaic Ventures||London||43%||platforms, marketplace, SaaS; mobility &location services, machine intelligence, blochckain&crypto, finance 2.0, computational health// Tray, Blockchain, Nexar|
|e.ventures||Berlin||43%||the intersection of consumer Internet, media and mobile: enterprise, fintech, marketing, media, food, telecom// Blinkist, Farfetch, Segment|
enterprises and consumer, software, digital brands, services, hardware, deep tech //Hyperloop One, Commsignia, Bolt, Brandswatch
|Notion Capital||London||30%||enterprise, marketing, fintech, HR tech// Tradeshift, NewVoiceMedia, Workable, Five AI|
|HV Holztbrink Ventures||Munich||27%||digital, enterprise, fintech, fashion, marketing, home&living media, food// DeliveryHero, FlixBus, Zalando, Groupon,|
|Idinvest Partners||Paris||26%||digital, healthcare, smart city// Skrill, Ornikar, AM-Pharma|
|Octopus Ventures||London||21%||future of health, the future of money, deep tech// Secret Escapes, Depop, Eve Sleep|
|Alven||Paris||15%||consumer, data tech, SaaS// MailJet, Meero, Wynd|
|Source: Dealroom.co; The Journey to Series A in Europe; own research|