In 2014 as a whole, European venture-backed companies attracted €7.9bn ($8.9bn) across 1460 deals, a fall of 11% in deals completed from 2013 but an improvement of 25% in euros invested. It was the biggest amount invested since 2001 when companies raised €10.6bn, according to data provider Dow Jones VentureSource.
Overall, the number of fund closings (raising money to invest in startups) by VC firms in 2014 was down by 4% to 76 from the year prior, while the total amount raised by venture funds fell by 18% from 2013 to €3.4bn.
In 2014 in the US, 3682 investment deals were completed raising $52bn, a respective 4% decrease and 47% increase on figures posted in 2013.
The number of venture-backed IPOs in Europe more than tripled to 55, which raised a total of €3.7bn. In 2013, 18 IPOs raised a total of €500m.
In the year, Germany topped the company investment at €2.2bn, closely followed by the UK at €2.1bn with France in third position at €0.9m.
The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland were the other significant locations for VC investments.
Business and Financial Services received the largest allocation of investment during 4Q 2014 (32%), accumulating €557m through 80 deals. The sector remained the most attractive sector despite investment dropping by 41% from 3Q 2014. Deal flow remained flat.
Healthcare rose to second in terms of equity financing, taking a 30% share of all 4Q 2014 investment. The sector raised €535m across 60 deals, an increase of 64% in capital raised and 25% in deals completed from the previous quarter.
Consumer Services was pushed down to third, with companies in the sector gathering 18% of the total amount invested for the quarter. The sector received €327m across 96 deals; a fall of 53% and 3% from 3Q 2014 in capital invested and deal flow respectively.
The United Kingdom was the most favoured destination for equity financing during 4Q 2014, receiving €524m across 69 deals. The country took in 30% of all investment into European VC-backed companies for the quarter.
Germany placed second, capturing 18% of European investment. Investment fell by 73% from the prior quarter to total €322m. Deal flow remained relatively stable, however, with 66 completed.
The Netherlands rose to third position raising €243m, a 14% share of investment. France placed in fourth position with a 12% share, raising €218m during 3Q 2014.
The Financial Times reported at the end of December that London-based technology startups attracted record levels of venture capital in 2014, with investors ploughing $1.4bn into the city’s fledgling companies — double the amount raised last year. The figures point to growing investor confidence that the UK capital’s start-ups can compete on the global stage, despite years in which European tech companies have lagged behind Silicon Valley rivals.
The amount raised in London is more than 20 times what it was just four years ago, and accounted for 65% of the UK total, according to data compiled by research group CB Insights for London & Partners, the promotional arm of the mayor’s office.
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