Three new European VC funds launched this month

22 Feb 2022

Backed co-founders Alex Brunicki and Andre de Haes. Image: Backed

The new European VC funds are focused on start-ups in the health-tech, life sciences, gaming and biotech sectors.

Backed, LSP and Lauxera Capital Partners have all launched venture capital funds in Europe this month, with the most recent being a €150m fund from VC firm Backed.

The London-based firm said today (22 February) that this fund is being split between a €75m second seed fund and a €75m fund to invest in its existing portfolio companies. It plans to “double down” on investments in companies involved in gaming, biotech and Web3, which is a version of the internet that is decentralised and based on public blockchains.

Future Human

Launched in 2016 by Andre de Haes and Alex Brunicki, Backed said its current portfolio consists of 67 companies with an aggregate value of €10.7bn.

The majority of the new funding came from existing investors, which includes institutions such as Groupe Bruxelles Lambert and private firm Wilshire Associate, alongside 20 venture-focused family offices and more than 20 entrepreneurs.

“From day zero, our dream has been to build a community, not just a fund,” Backed managing partner de Haes said.

“Today there are more funds than ever in Europe, but still very few communities uniting the most talented founders through deep friendships anchored on mutual support, a shared hunger for self development and truly bold ambitions.”

LSP’s €1bn life sciences fund

Investment firm LSP announced earlier this month that it has raised more than €1bn for its flagship LSP 7 fund, which it described as the largest life sciences fund raised in Europe to date.

It aims to invest in companies developing new drug therapies and medical technologies. Last November, the firm said it had raised €850m for the fund and planned to join up with EQT, a large global private equity firm.

LSP managing partner René Kuijten said a “large investor” added an extra €150m to the LSP 7 fund the day after the partnership with EQT was announced.

“This investment immediately validates a key rationale for joining EQT,” Kuijten said. “With EQT, we expect that we will be able to raise large funds much faster, serving the life sciences in Europe even better than before.”

The firm now expects to invest in around 15 to 20 companies in life sciences and healthcare. LSP has invested in multiple Irish medtech companies, including Neuravi, Atlantic Therapeutics and Galway start-up Neurent Medical. Earlier this month, LSP co-led a €22.5m Series A funding round in medtech start-up Perfuze.

The deal with EQT is expected to close in the first quarter of this year. Once completed, LSP will be renamed to EQT Life Sciences.

Lauxera’s focus on health-tech

Founded at the start of 2020, VC firm Lauxera Capital Partners closed its debut fund at €260m earlier this month.

Led by a team of former healthcare executives and experienced investors, the firm is focused on investing in European health-tech companies.

Its first fund, Lauxera Growth I, achieved a first closing of €100m in January 2021. The Paris-based firm said the upscaled size of the fund reflects the strength and depth of investment opportunities in European health-tech companies.

“After a first closing in January 2021 of nearly €100m, we are very proud to have exceeded all our initial targets in less than a year, closing our Lauxera Growth I fund at over €260m,” Lauxera Capital Partners chair Pierre Moustial said.  “Its size and the quality of its limited partners allow us to operate at the same level as the largest American specialist funds financing health-tech innovators with global ambitions.

“We can accelerate the international growth of our portfolio companies and transform them into multinational champions in health-tech. Over the past year, we have invested close to 25pc of the fund’s final size in five companies, playing active governance and advisory roles to accelerate their growth,” Moustial added.

The VC firm said the final closing of the fund was made possible with investors such as Covea, Candriam and Bpifrance, the French national investment bank. European family offices also participated such as Tethys, Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille, Financière Dassault and Italmobiliare.

“As the critical challenge for these companies is to quickly penetrate the US market, our network, our regulatory and commercial skills, and our transatlantic positioning naturally make us the ideal partner,” Lauxera Capital Partners co-founders Dr Samuel Levy and Alex Slack said.

“Europe has an unparalleled wealth of healthcare innovations and an array of great medical technology companies in healthcare software, medical devices, research tools, digital health and biomanufacturing that can radically improve the efficiency of our healthcare systems while improving outcomes for patients.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic