2014 was big. Very big.
Venture capitalists invested more than $48.3b in a total of 4,356 deals.
Therefore, last year was the biggest year for venture capital since 2000, with a 61% rise in the number of deals compared to 2013. As described by Ernst and Young, the second largest investments took place in Europe, resulting in a total of $131b in investments (including both Private Equity and Venture Capital investments).
What are those? Here is a compiled list of European startups that received some of the largest financing rounds in venture capital last year.
Delivery Hero – $523M
German startup Delivery Hero, an online food-ordering service employing more than 1500 employees, raised a staggering $523m in 2014. While competitor, UK-based Just-Eat, went public a year ago, Delivery Hero is still in private hands, but may consider an IPO this year, according to a spokesperson. Investors include Insight Venture Partners, Luxor Capital Group and Tengelmann Ventures.
Ozon – $150M
Owned by the largest independent private equity firm in Russia (Baring Vostok Capital Partners), Ozon is Russia’s first online retailer. The company raised a total of $150m in venture capital in 2014. Investors include LSE-listed Sistema, the largest publicly-traded diversified holding company in Russia.
Kobalt Music – $140M
Working with artists, songwriters and producers across the globe, presenting on average over 40% of the top 100 songs in the US and the UK, Kobal Music raised $140m in 2014. Although the company is New York based, it’s registered in the UK, and collects royalties on behalf of some 2,000 high-profile names like singer Paul McCartney, producer Max Martin and pop band Maroon 5. Recent investors include Michael Dell and his investment arm MSD Capital, as well as London based Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Europe).
UK based startup Borro raised $112m in Series D funding in 2014, under the leadership of asset management firm Victory Park Capital. Having raised another $19m this February, the startup provides loans on its online platform for cash-poor, asset-rich individuals. Investors include the Samwer Brothers and their European Founders Fund, Eden Ventures and Ribbit Capital.
Adaptimmune – $104M
Based in Oxford, as well as in Philadelphia, Adaptimmune focus lies on treating cancer. In 2014, the biotechnology startup secured a $104m series A financing round, intending to use the money for clinical trials against multiple types of cancer. The funding round was led by New Enterprise Associates, and additional investors include Fidelity Biosciences, Wellington Management Company and OrbiMed Advisors.
Funding Circle – $65M
An online marketplace that connects small businesses looking for loans with people and corporations willing to lend money, Funding Circle has raised another $65m in 2014. The total amount the company raised since its founding in 2009 is at $123m. Investors include Index Ventures, Accel Partners and Union Square Ventures.
To sum up, there is a booming VC activity in the European region with well-established investment players. For starting entrepreneurs, this, combined with a bullish stock market, presents a tremendous opportunity to raise capital for early stage companies.