The European Venture ecosystem is growing with its areas of strength being healthcare, fintech, deep tech, data and analytics, and others. However, there are lots of challenges that are preventing promising tech companies from becoming global leaders, including the lack of funds needed to fuel international success. Many of Europe’s tech companies are proliferating at Seed and Series A, but remain starved of funding at the growth stage.
According to Dealroom’s report, European companies raised 38% of global venture capital at Seed, but this figure dropped to 21% at Series B and 14% at Series C (rounds of €40-100M). Unless this issue is resolved, Europe will not reach its full potential. Well, the Geneva-headquartered Highland Europe aims to address this problem with a focus on mission-critical growth-stage software and consumer technology companies.
In this regard, European VC firm Highland Europe recently raised a new oversubscribed fund of €700M to back outstanding software and internet businesses. This funding round brings Highland Europe’s assets under management to €1.8B.
During the pandemic, Highland Europe invested €200M in 7 businesses including Farewill, Meditopia, Modulr, Supermetrics, and Alkemics, as well as the existing portfolio.
Further, according to the VC firm, it’s portfolio companies have attracted €730M in follow-on investment in the last 12 months alone. It’s worth noting that the team helped two founder-led teams (Spot and Smartly.io) navigate strategic and private equity interest, resulting in substantial liquidity events.
Promotion to Partner
On the other side, the company announced the promotion of Jean Tardy-Joubert, Gajan Rajanathan, and Ronan Shally to Partner. Notably, Tardy-Joubert and Rajanathan joined Highland in 2017/18 from Qatalyst – a San Francisco-based boutique investment bank. Whereas, Shally has been with the firm since 2014 and is Highland’s CFO.
Highland Europe’s portfolio
Highland Europe claims to invest in rapidly-growing European internet, mobile and software companies that address large market opportunities and have over €10M in annualised revenues. Active in Europe since 2003 as Highland Capital Partners and formally launched in 2012, Highland Europe has raised over €1.8B and has invested in companies such as Adjust, AMCS, Camunda, ContentSquare, Featurespace, GetYourGuide, Huel, Jellysmack, Malwarebytes, MatchesFashion, NewVoiceMedia, Nexthink, Spot, Supermetrics, WeTransfer, Wolt and Zwift.
According to the firm, its collective history of investments across the US, Europe and China includes 46 IPOs and 19 billion-dollar-plus companies.
Fergal Mullen, co-founder, and partner at Highland Europe says: “During 2020 we have seen 10-year trends in tech adoption compressed into one year across both consumer and business segments. The software has gone mainstream and it is mission-critical. The opportunity at the growth stage in Europe has never been more evident or more urgent. Highland Europe’s role is to bring capital, our deep network, and scaling expertise to companies that can make it to IPO.”
Main image credits: Highland Europe