European tech funding hits new high with US$2.5bn for Q1

29 Apr 2015

European tech companies raised US$2.5bn (€2.2bn) in the first quarter of 2015, according to new research. The top ten VC-backed deals amounted to US$1.6bn (€1.4bn) between them.

VC-backed European tech companies raised a whopping US$2.5bn on 264 deals, both 17-quarter highs, according to CBI Insights’ research. The quarter was buoyed by Delivery Hero’s US$563M financing, as funding and deals were up 98pc and 21pc respectively versus the same quarter a year earlier.

Three investors tied for the most active VC in EU Tech in Q1 2015. Paris-based Partech Ventures made a variety of early-stage investments in France; Holtzbrinck Ventures made multiple mid-stage investments, and High-Tech Gruenderfonds rounded out the top three with a slew of early-stage investments in Germany.

The UK outpaced Germany in Q1 for VC-backed tech investments, with 69 versus Germany’s 58. Both the UK and Germany saw a dip from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014, but rebounded strongly this year with 28pc and 76pc deal growth respectively. Spain saw the largest deal growth of the top EU countries, with deals up 91pc in Q1 versus the same quarter in 2014.

Series A deal sizes fell slightly on a median basis in the first quarter, reaching US$4.5m. However, the average Series A to VC-backed EU tech start-ups in Q1 2015 reached US$7.16m, due to multiple US$20m-plus financings, including augmented reality platform start-up Blippar’s US$45m Series A.

Investments into VC-backed German tech companies topped US$1bn for the first quarter in more than four years. Buoyed by nine-figure financings to Delivery Hero, HelloFresh, and Foodpanda, funding reached US$1.15bn, while deals also reached a quarterly high at 58. Overall deals and dollars were up 76pc and 419pc respectively versus the same quarter last year.

Quarterly investment into VC-backed UK tech companies topped US$700m in Q1, up 111pc year-on-year. Deals also reached a multi-year high at 69, up 28pc compared to the first quarter of last year. Funding was buoyed by international payments companies WorldRemit and Transferwise, as well as data centre company Verne Global.

Top European deals chart

Europe map image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years