European Venture Capital – a series of blog posts

European Venture Capital – a series of blog posts
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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

British Flag with London

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

http://stockholmvcbible.eventbrite.com

Stockholm – The Future of Angel & Venture Capital Investing – June 4

http://futurevcstockholm.eventbrite.com

London – The Future of Angel & Venture Capital Investing – June 9

http://futureVC.eventbrite.com

London – The Future of Raising Angel & Venture Capital Funding – June 11

http://londonvcbible.eventbrite.com

You can view and buy my book on Amazon here

Download a free chapter from the book on M&A here.

Twitter: @RomansVentures

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