UK dominates European VC activity

Venture capital-backed firms in the UK raise $1.1bn in 2015 Q2 – accounting for more than one-third of total European activity.

Venture capital-backed companies in the UK raised $1.1bn in the second quarter of 2015, taking the total raised so far in 2015 to nearly $2.25bn, according to research by KPMG Enterprise and CB Insights.

The funds raised in the past quarter come from 94 deals. The tech sector dominates VC activity; a $500m investment in OneWeb and $150m round for Funding Circle leading the way.

Across Europe there has been a year-on-year increase that, if it continues at the same rate in the second half of the year, could reach 60%. A total of $6.6bn has been invested across the continent.

The pattern emerging in Q2 showed a large number of late-stage mega-deals – with the average value doubling from $26.3 to $52.2m across the quarter. A Series G round for Spotify – worth $526 – was one of four funding deals over $100m.

Globally, in the first two quarters of 2015, there were more than 100 mega-rounds, including 61 in Q2 that cumulatively raised more than $16 billion in investment.

The second quarter of 2015 was a banner quarter for ‘unicorns’ – venture capital backed companies with valuations in excess of $1 billion. 

See also: Secret Escapes raises $60m in Series C funding round

The period saw the number of new unicorns more than double to 24 over the first quarter’s 11 new unicorns.  This included 12 new unicorns in the United States and nine in Asia. Among the quarter’s new unicorns were Zenefits, Oscar Health Insurance and MarkLogic. 

Regionally, North America unsurprisingly continues to lead global venture capital activity. With $37.5 billion invested in the first half of the year, funding is on pace to surpass 2014’s high by more than 25 percent.

In Asia, a mix of traditional venture capital sources mixed with hedge funds, private equity and corporates led to $15 billion invested into VC-backed companies in the first two quarters of 2015, putting Asia on track for 45 percent growth year-over-year.

KPMG Enterprise partner Ben McDonald said that in both Europe and the US “a number of factors are driving a dramatic surge in VC activity”.

“These include low interest rates compelling investors to seek avenues of greater return, strong participation by corporate investors, and new capital sources including hedge funds, mutual funds and sovereign wealth funds,” he continued.

“Taken together, these factors mean that VC-focused investment capital is more available than ever before.”

Further reading: Velocity raises $12m in huge Series A funding round

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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