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Balderton Capital launches £450M fund focused on early-stage European startups

Balderton Capital
Image credits: Balderton Capital

Balderton Capital based in London is a leading venture capital firm in Europe focused exclusively on backing the best technology companies in the region. Now, the company announced that it has raised its second fund of 2021 for $600 million (nearly £450 million).

Focuses on early-stage companies

This new fund is focused on early-stage companies in an attempt to support its mission and be the leading provider of venture capital to support European startups that have global ambitions. So far, the firm has raised four funds totalling close to $2 billion since 2018 and has active investments in more than 100 companies, employing more than 26,000 people in 50 countries around the world.

The new fund will be sector agnostic and managed by Balderton’s investment team of 25 working across Europe. The equal partnership will work together to share experience and insights to the benefit of the entire portfolio.

With Europe on track to raise a record $70 billion of venture capital investment by the end of the year, more than twice the total for 2020, Balderton Capital has doubled down on its commitment to building the next generation of global tech companies from the region.

“Balderton Capital is a very different firm than it was 12 months ago. We have not only launched two new funds, but have grown and strengthened our team. We have entered a new era in which we will be able to operate at a different pace and with a broader view of when we can support founders. Our transition from Europe’s leading Series A investor to a multi-stage fund gives us more firepower and flexibility and helps us to uncover more hidden gems among Europe’s startups.” Bernard Liautaud, Managing Partner at Balderton Capital, said.

“The launch of Fund VIII marks 21 years of seed and Series A investing at Balderton. In that time we have had the huge privilege to work with many irrepressible founders with outsized ambitions and we hope to do so once again.” said General Partner Suranga Chandratillake. “While our job may not have changed, Europe has – we are excited for the thriving ecosystem we find around us with more talent, more capital and more ambition than at any time in our history.”

Rana Yared, General Partner, added: “We pull out all the stops to help our founders be successful operationally, and by investing at both early stage and further down the line, we are also able to offer the long-term partnership and capital they need to help them achieve their ambitions. We are delighted to be able to support a new generation of entrepreneurs through this fund.”

Successful portfolio

With close to 300 investments completed since its debut in 2000, Balderton has extensive experience backing exceptional founders from seed to growth stage across Europe. In 2021, Balderton has invested in 20 new startups in sectors ranging from reproductive health and instant commerce to data labelling and gaming.

The firm has also seen 13 portfolio companies achieve unicorn status this year, underlining the fund’s long track record of picking category leaders early. Companies where Balderton invested at Seed or Series A, include Aircall, Beauty Pie, ComplyAdvantage, Contentful, Depop, Dream Games, GoCardless, Infarm, Labster, Revolut, Vestiaire Collective and Zego.

Balderton’s portfolio companies have collectively raised more than $6 billion so far this year, which is almost double the $3.1 billion it raised in the whole of 2020. The four portfolio companies include Darktrace, Flywire, SOPHiA Genetics and Truecaller that have gone public in landmark European IPOs. Also, the firm has witnessed 10 exits, including Peakon’s sale to Workday, Nutmeg’s sale to JPMorgan Chase and Depop’s sale to Etsy.

Balderton’s portfolio companies benefit from its Build with Balderton platform of talent, marketing, finance, and legal services. The Platform is wholly focused on giving founding teams the help they need to scale, including access to operational and functional services and an active community of peers.

Also, the company is focused on its commitment to building a sustainable and fair venture firm by publishing its Sustainable Future Goals – 60 objectives designed to reduce its impact on the environment, increase its social diversity and improve its governance.

Expands its team

Balderton’s Platform continues to expand, and the firm has added 13 people to its team in 2020, including Dave Kellogg, Balderton’s first executive-in-residence. Founding teams also gain access to the global industry leaders of the Balderton Executive Council; the CEO Collective offsite; and events and workshops hosted at the firm’s Kings Cross headquarters and across Europe.