February 26, 2020
Fundraising for London start-ups hits record high in 2019
• London-based companies raised £5.6bn of venture capital in 2019 from 319 deals – highest on record
• Capital takes top spot in Europe followed by Paris and Berlin
• Largest deal for Oneweb raised £918.7m
• Most active investor in London was Senderwood LLP which invested £34.6m in 18 deals
• UK companies lead Europe for fundraising
LONDON, 26 February 2020: London-based start-ups raised a record-breaking £5.6bn of venture capital in 2019 – the highest in Europe – according to research by Refinitiv.
Companies raised more than double the amount raised in 2018 - £2.5bn - from 293 deals, putting London ahead of Paris with £1.7bn worth of deals across 128 deals, and Berlin with £1.5bn across 83 deals.
The largest London deal was for Oneweb Ltd, which raised £919.2m, followed by Deliveroo and Babylon Healthcare Services Ltd raising £429.6m and £412.8m respectively. These deals were also the top three deals in Europe with London-based companies accounted for six out of the top ten.
The most active investors in London were Senderwood LLP which invested £34.6m in 18 deals. MMC Ventures Ltd followed up in second with 13 deals investing £22.5m and Downing LLP invested £21.8m in 12 deals.
Cornelia Andersson, Head of M&A and Capital Raising at Refinitiv comments: “It’s fantastic to see record levels of investment driving start-up activity in London. Despite the overall economic uncertainty over the last year, there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in the capital with record amounts being invested in a record numbers of deals.”
UK companies lead Europe for fundraising
UK companies raised £8.1bn of venture capital in 2019 – an 85% increase year on year (£4.3bn). Deal volumes also were slightly up with 560 in this period compared to 554 in 2018.
The total raised was nearly double that of French companies (£4.1bn) – the next most active European nation. French companies were responsible for 324 rounds completed during the period – down 16% from 2018. Rounding off the top three, German companies saw 181 rounds valued at £2.7bn, which equates to volumes being down 10%, and values up by 38%.
Record-breaking year for European venture capital raising but deals fall
Across Europe, companies raised £19.5bn of venture capital last year – an increase of 50% year on year. Despite the huge deal values in the period, deal volumes fell to 1,408, down by 7% from 2018 and marked the slowest start to a year since 2009.
Thirty-eight venture capital rounds over £83m were completed during 2019. However, only six of these occurred during the fourth quarter. Included in these six was the £218m series C round into business performance software, Celonis. The investment, led by Arena Holdings and involving previous VC backers Accel and 83North, valued the business at £1.9bn. Also included was the £202m investment into employee payments application, Hastee, led by Umbra Capital and supported by IDC Ventures.
Funds located within the United States invested £5.3bn into European start-ups throughout 2019, accounting for 29% of total disclosed investment. Funds located within Europe contributed a total of £10.9bn and were led by £3.4bn invested by France, £3.2bn by the United Kingdom, and £1bn by Germany.
European venture-backed exits totalled £6.3bn across 102 transactions in 2019, a 35% decrease in value and a 25% decline by number of deals as compared to 2018. By number of transactions, European venture-backed exits posted their fifth consecutive year-over-year decline, from a high of 267 completed in 2014.