In the latest sign that Europe’s startup scene has some decent mojo, the region’s venture capital firms are attracting a growing amount of international capital from investors bullish on the continent’s startup economy.
Invest Europe, the region’s venture capital association, released its latest annual barometer of venture capital today. The study says the continent’s VC firms raised $7.3 billion in 2016, up from $6.27 billion the previous year. The latest figure is the most since VC firms raised $8.8 billion in 2007 before the financial crash.
Of that money flowing back in, about 10 percent came from North American institutional investors in 2016. Nenad Marovac, vice-chair of Invest Europe and managing partner of VC firm DN Capita, said this is a sign that European startups are an increasingly attractive bet for investors around the world.
“The venture funds in Europe are performing,” Marovac said. “There are really good returns for investors in Europe.”
For investors able to get into funds early, he said they are sometimes able to get better returns in Europe than from many Silicon Valley-focused funds. Startup valuations are less inflated, and there is still less competition to get in on deals than in the U.S.
That, coupled with an improving exit market, is delivering results that VC firms have been able to use to attract even more capital. Indeed, just yesterday, Paris-based Partech Ventures closed a new fund that brought its total amount raised over the last 18 months to more than $1 billion.
The region should get another boost this year, as the European Commission is in the process of launching a pan-European public-private VC Fund-of-Funds, which will have $455 million to invest. The hope is that this will attract another $1.8 billion in private VC investment into Europe.