The venture capitalists (VCs) that founders need to know about

Dealroom has revealed the most prominent VCs over the past year – and for 2021, a global ranking is being included

Dealroom has revealed the most prominent VCs over the past year.

The firm has also created a tool to help entrepreneurs and founders figure out which investors they should spend their time and energy on. The rankings are based on Dealroom’s database as well as direct feedback from entrepreneurs themselves.

Previous rankings have focused on the prominent Seed and Series A funding round investors in Europe, but this year it covers the whole of the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). On top of that, Dealroom has introduced global rankings for the first time to satisfy a huge appetite from US investors for European tech start-ups and scale-ups. Investments are counted by the territory in which they are made, rather than the location or the investor.

Yoram Wijngaarde, founder and CEO of Dealroom, said: “Two strong themes emerged from VC investing in 2020. The first is that Europe is now firmly on the global investor map. Some of the biggest US funds have voted with their feet, setting up European offices in 2020.

“The second is that European investors are not letting their foot off the gas. European VCs are raising bigger funds, signing bigger cheques – and more of them. For the first time, we have been able to rank the most prominent VCs – European and global – across a range of metrics, providing an even more transparent and valuable benchmarking tool for founders, LPs and investors alike.”

“Venture Capital and innovation is increasingly borderless. US investors have broadened their horizons, and European VCs are also investing all over the world, driven by global opportunities and enabled by distributed working in the last 12 months.”

Most prominent investors in Europe

Top 10 EMEA Combined

Accel tops the tables in the EMEA category with Index Ventures and LocalGlobe following, in a top 10 dominated by Seed and Series A investors. In total, the top ten most prominent investors made 254 EMEA deals during 2020. The top ten share a combined 133 unicorns in their portfolios as well as 184 future unicorns.

2Index Ventures
4Entrée Capital
5Point Nine Capital
6Bessemer Venture Partners
7Idinvest Partners
9Mangrove Capital Partners
10Balderton Capital

When the EMEA data is broken down specifically into Seed and Series A deals, UK and French investors have had the highest unicorn and future unicorn hit rate so far.

Sonali De Rycker, partner at Accel, said: “It feels like the European ecosystem has really come of age and it’s been amazing to see the acceleration that’s happened over the last few years in particular.”

Top 10 Seed EMEA

There are four UK-based investors within the top ten most prominent Seed investors in EMEA 2020: LocalGlobe, Entrée Capital, Seedcamp and Hoxton Ventures. The other investors in the top ten are Germany’s Point Nine Capital and Cherry Venture, plus Luxembourg’s Mangrove Capital Partners. Only three US-based VCs feature in the most prominent ten Seed investors for EMEA investments. They are SV Angel, BOLDstart Ventures and 500 Startups.

2Entrée Capital
3Point Nine Capital
5Mangrove Capital Partners
6Cherry Ventures
7SV Angel
8BOLDstart Ventures
9500 Startups
10Hoxton Ventures

George Henry, general partner at LocalGlobe said: “European and Israeli venture capital funds had a very strong year in 2020, not least because there is so much talent and entrepreneurial quality to invest in across the region. As digital adoption gathers pace, the need for later stage capital in EMEA becomes more acute.”

Top 10 Series A EMEA

2Index Ventures
3Bessemer Venture Partners
4Idinvest Partners
5Balderton Capital
6Sequoia Capital
9HV Capital

Accel comes out on top again here, with 31 EMEA portfolio and exited unicorns, 34 future unicorns and 32 EMEA deals. Index Ventures had 30 EMEA unicorns, 34 future unicorns and 35 deals. The investor with the highest number of future unicorns in their portfolio is IDinvest Partners at 41.

US firms dominate global rankings

The tables below will give you an idea of just how influential US firms are.

Top 10 Global Combined

Some of these names have appeared already but here’s how they ranked in the Global Combined top ten.

1SV Angel
2Sequoia Capital
4Kleiner Perkins
5Andreessen Horowitz
6Index Ventures
8500 Startups
10First Round Capital

Top 10 Series A Global

Nine of the top ten global Seed investors are based outside of the US and Canada, and that’s Zhen Fund in Asia. At the top of the global Seed ranking is SV Angel, ahead of 500 Startups and Box Group.

1Sequoia Capital
3Kleiner Perkins
4Andreessen Horowitz
5Index Ventures
7Lightspeed Venture Partners
8Bessemer Venture Partners
9Founders Fund
10IDG Capital

Sequoia Capital and Accel top the list of the most prominent global Series A investors, which isn’t surprising given Sequoia’s 206 deals, as well as Accel’s 114 total deals in 2020. Only one EMEA-based VC made the top ten most prominent investors globally: Index Ventures. Asia’s IDG Capital rounds off the table.

Top 5 UK Seed EMEA

Looking exclusively at UK investors focusing on Seed stage, LocalGlobe comes out on top.

Rank Investor
2Entrée Capital
4Hoxton Ventures

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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