The European venture scene is bigger than many Americans realize. Each year European companies close between 1,000 and 1,700 venture financings, compared to a steady 2,500 venture financings in the U.S. Today it is typical to meet a 29-year-old European closing his first funding, who is already on his third startup. His previous two startups may have been only angel backed, but the entrepreneurial experience that happened in Europe over the past fifteen years has changed the landscape. Europeans basically joined the entrepreneurship game in the year 2000, just moments before the dot com melt down. Fourteen years later, experienced teams work with experienced VCs.
It is time for Europeans to adopt the “move it forward” culture of the Valley. Europeans must help each other more and connect to each other, Americans, Chinese and Indians the way Israelis already do. They need to take time to meet each other and give each other honest and direct feedback rather than politely nod when they believe the other entrepreneur’s strategy is flawed. More info at www.evca.eu.
The British Scene
I lived in London for nearly 10 years, spending so much time there that it is hard for me to pick my favorite VCs. I have relationships with pretty much all of them, and I have grown to know which partner at each fund is an appropriate fit for what. Let me name a few VCs that I like. For IT, ProFounders Capital, established by Sean Steton-Rogers, is particularly interesting. At a time when other VCs in London were reacting to the 2007-08 recession, this guy left his job as an associate at Balderton (formerly Benchmark Europe) and set up a very small early stage venture fund backed by a great advisory board. Other top funds for IT in the UK include Atomico (Skype founders’ fund), Index Ventures, Accel, Balderton, DFJ-Esprit, Forward Ventures (where Nic Brisbource from DFJ-Esprit has moved to) Amadeus Capital, Eden Ventures and TLcom to name a few. Apologies to friends that are not mentioned here. There are about 50 of you.
These investors appeared on a VentureSource search for the most active VCs in the UK that have made an investment into a UK domiciled operating company that had raised at least $3m USD in 2010 or 2011. Not all of these funds are based in the UK. As with all searches, some of these are Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), government tax incentive schemes that raise most of their LP dollars from retail investors that are happy with the tax break and a 1x return. In general, the VCTs are rather weak, but if you are seeking to raise funding, and you are in the UK, there is no harm in getting a term sheet from them. More info at www.bvca.co.uk.
I did not intend to list more than 50 VCs, but some of my favorite VCs did not make the top 50 and I wanted give them some visibility. For many British VCs, 2010-11 was still a time to circle the wagons and get through the recession with their existing portfolios intact.
This series of blog posts will cover each major market in Europe where I have experience and will provide similar league tables.
League Table for Most Active VCs in the UK
These league tables like the other ones I have posted are a bit out of date. These represent research for VCs that invested in British domiciled startups in rounds of at least $5m in 2009 and 2010.
|1||Octopus Ventures Ltd.||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 459||15|
|2||Scottish Enterprise||Glasgow, United Kingdom||US$ 212||11|
|3||Accel Partners||Palo Alto, CA||Venture Capital||US$ 6,000||10|
|4||NESTA||London, United Kingdom||Government||9|
|5||Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd.||Cambridge, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 844||8|
|6||Carbon Trust Investments Ltd.||London, United Kingdom||Corporate Venture Capital||US$ 36||8|
|7||DFJ Esprit LLP||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 565||8|
|8||Imperial Innovations||London, United Kingdom||US$ 98||8|
|9||Index Ventures||Geneva, Switzerland||Venture Capital||US$ 2,250||8|
|10||Oxford Capital Partners Ltd.||Oxford, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 71||8|
|11||Scottish Equity Partners LLP||Glasgow, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 477||7|
|12||Advent Venture Partners LLP||London, United Kingdom||US$ 882||6|
|13||Balderton Capital Management LLP||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 1,900||6|
|14||Eden Ventures||Bath, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 300||6|
|15||SV Life Sciences Advisers LLC||Boston, MA||US$ 2,062||6|
|16||Atlas Venture||Cambridge, MA||Venture Capital||US$ 1,973||5|
|17||Greylock Partners||Menlo Park, CA||Venture Capital||US$ 2,770||5|
|18||Invesco Perpetual||Henley-on-Thames , United Kingdom||5|
|19||YFM Private Equity Ltd.||Leeds, United Kingdom||US$ 888||5|
|20||Albion Ventures LLP||London, United Kingdom||US$ 441||4|
|21||Beringea LLC||Farmington Hills, MI||Venture Capital||US$ 400||4|
|22||Bridges Ventures Limited||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 203||4|
|23||Energy Ventures AS||Stavanger, Norway||Venture Capital||US$ 346||4|
|24||Forbion Capital Partners||Naarden, Netherlands||Venture Capital||US$ 240||4|
|25||Hotbed Ltd.||London, United Kingdom||4|
|26||Intel Capital||Santa Clara, CA||Corporate Venture Capital||US$ 1,449||4|
|27||Morningside Group Ltd.||Newton Center, MA||4|
|28||Novo A/S||Hellerup, Denmark||US$ 2,044||4|
|29||Oxford Technology Management Ltd.||Oxford, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 94||4|
|30||Pentech Ventures||Glasgow, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 119||4|
|31||Seraphim Capital||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 53||4|
|32||Spark Ventures||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 309||4|
|33||Augmentum Capital LLP||London, United Kingdom||3|
|34||Catapult Venture Managers||Nottingham, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 141||3|
|35||Dawn Capital LLP||London, United Kingdom||US$ 53||3|
|36||Enterprise Ventures Ltd.||Preston, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 125||3|
|37||Finance Wales||Cardiff , United Kingdom||US$ 265||3|
|38||IP Group||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||3|
|39||MVM Life Science Partners LLP||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 489||3|
|40||Nauta Capital||Barcelona, Spain||Venture Capital||US$ 138||3|
|41||Notion Capital||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||3|
|42||Quest For Growth NV||Leuven, Belgium||Inactive VC||US$ 132||3|
|43||Seroba Kernel Life Sciences||Dublin, Ireland||Venture Capital||US$ 114||3|
|44||Silicon Valley Bank||Santa Clara, CA||Other||US$ 4,000||3|
|45||Sofinnova Partners||Paris, France||US$ 1,328||3|
|46||SSE PLC||Perth, United Kingdom||Corporate Venture Capital||3|
|47||Archangel Informal Investment Ltd.||Edinburgh, United Kingdom||Angel Investor||2|
|48||Atomico||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||2|
|49||Braveheart Ventures||Perth, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 26||2|
|50||Business Growth Fund PLC||Birmingham, United Kingdom||2|
If you want to come to Europe this summer there is no better place to be in June than Stockholm and London. Join us!
Stockholm – The Future of Raising Angel & Venture Capital Funding – June 3
Stockholm – The Future of Angel & Venture Capital Investing – June 4
London – The Future of Angel & Venture Capital Investing – June 9
London – The Future of Raising Angel & Venture Capital Funding – June 11
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