Billion-dollar exits dominate proceedings at Investor Allstars 2014

In a year that saw four European businesses sell for in excess of $1 billion, the annual Investor Allstars awards shined a light on the best of the venture capital and entrepreneurial world.

Index Ventures scooped VC Fund of the Year at the 12thInvestor Allstars awards in London, beating off competition from Accel Partners, Idinvest, Northzone Ventures and Octopus Investments.

Having raised a new €411 million European-focused fund, Index Ventures, which counts Ben Holmes, Saul Klein and Kevin Johnson as partners, also invested €200 million into 55 companies during the judging period.

In the other hotly-contested categories, Kevin Comolli, partner at Accel Partners, won Investor of the Year for a series of deals including the part-sale of Supercell to Softbank for some $3 billion – a transaction which was itself strong enough to pick up Exit of the Year.

Investor Allstars 2014, organised by GrowthBusiness and GP Bullhound, saw 650 of the continent’s leading investors and entrepreneurs come together following a year of outstanding achievements in the European market.

For the second year running, the Europe’s Allstar Company award was decided earlier in the day by an interactive vote – after detailed company presentations by Achica, BlaBlaCar, Farfetch, NewVoiceMedia and Zound Industries. Paris-based business BlaBlaCar was the eventual winner, capping a year including a $100 million fundraise, reaching 10 million customers and launching in multiple new regions.

The successful IPO of JUST EAT in early April, one of the four billion-dollar exits closed during the last year, saw the online fast food service’s CEO David Buttress awarded Male Entrepreneur of the Year. Female Entrepreneur of the Year went to Sara Murray, founder of and more recently location systems business Buddi.

Commenting on the awards, GP Bullhound managing partner Manish Madhvani says, ‘It was a crazy year for Europe with four billion-dollar exits. The entrepreneurial ecosystem is the strongest it has ever been and we are proud to recognise some amazing achievements.’

Vitruvian Partners, whose £1 billion second fund has seen it particularly active during the last 12 months, triumphed in the Growth/Buyout Fund of the Year category, which saw a highly commented mention for Encore Capital.

Equity Gap Fund of the Year was picked up by MMC Ventures after a busy period of new investments, while Octopus Investments was lauded for its impressive venture capital trust activity by being selected VCT of the Year.

Sponsors on the night included headline sponsor Sferiq as well as Orrick, Crowdcube, Bird & Bird, JAG Shaw Baker, Dow JonesPocketAppBerenberg, PER, Information Age and Growth Company Investor.

The full list of winners are:

VC Fund of the Year

Winner: Index Ventures

Exit of the Year

Winner: Supercell – Accel Partners, Index Ventures

Growth / Buyout Capital Fund of the Year

Winner: Vitruvian Partners

Investor of the Year

Winner: Kevin Comolli – Accel Partners

Female Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Sara Murray – Buddi

Male Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: David Buttress – JUST EAT

Corporate Development Team of the Year

Winner: ProSiebenSat.1 Megia AG

VCT of the Year

Winner: Octopus Investments

Private Investor Network of the Year

Winner: Envestors

Europe’s Allstar Company of the Year

Winner: BlaBlaCar

Service Provider of the Year

Winner: Silicon Valley Bank

Equity Gap Fund of the Year

Winner: MMC Ventures

Sferiq Award for Digital Innovation in Art

Winner: ArtStack

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.