Balderton raises $600m fund for early-stage start-ups in Europe

17 Nov 2021

The Balderton team. Image: Balderton

It is the second fund Balderton has launched this year as it transitions to a multi-stage fund.

Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s top VC firms, has launched a new $600m fund for breakout tech start-ups – its largest ever for early-stage companies.

This follows a $680m fund announced in June for backing early-growth companies in Europe, a new segment for the seed and Series A investor.

Future Human

With the latest fund, Balderton is now actively deploying more than $1.2bn across Europe.

So far in 2021, the VC has invested in 20 new start-ups in sectors ranging from reproductive health and instant commerce to data labelling and gaming, while 13 of its portfolio companies achieved unicorn status this year.

Nearly 300 investments have been made since the firm was founded 21 years ago.

Its portfolio has included Darktrace, Revolut, Depop and GoCardless in recent years, while in its early days it was the only venture backer of Bebo. More recently, it led the $19m Series A round for Denmark’s Forecast and participated in ComplyAdvantage’s $70m raise.

Some of Balderton’s Irish investments have included Openet and Workhuman. Balderton founder Barry Maloney, who is also chair of Workhuman, recently co-led a €1.3m funding round for Irish e-scooter start-up Zipp Mobility.

‘Uncover more hidden gems’

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner at Balderton, said that the firm is very different from what it was 12 months ago, with two new funds and significant additions to its team. In September, Balderton appointed software veteran Dave Kellogg to advise its portfolio of CEOs and founders.

“Our transition from Europe’s leading Series A investor to a multi-stage fund gives us more firepower and flexibility and helps us to uncover more hidden gems among Europe’s start-ups,” said Liautaud.

Balderton’s portfolio companies have collectively raised more than $6bn in follow-on funding so far this year – almost double the $3.1bn raised in the entirety of 2020. Four portfolio companies – Darktrace, Flywire, Sophia Genetics and Truecaller – have also gone public this year.

“We pull out all the stops to help our founders be successful operationally, and by investing at both early stage and further down the line, we are also able to offer the long-term partnership and capital they need to help them achieve their ambitions,” said general partner Rana Yared.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic