London, 1st April 2014: Balderton Capital, one of Europe's largest venture capital investors and behind breakthrough successes such as Betfair, Lovefilm, MySQL, NaturalMotion and Yoox, has announced the closing of its fifth European fund, raising a further $305 million and bringing its total funds to $2.2 billion to invest in European technology start-ups.
The announcement follows recent additions to the partnership of investors with strong operational backgrounds: Suranga Chandratillake, the founder of blinkx (IPO in 2012), and Daniel Waterhouse, formerly of Yahoo! and board member of EyeEm, Hailo and YPlan, joined the team in late 2013.
The new fund has been raised to seize growing opportunities in the European technology sector. The fund was raised principally from existing limited partners as well as including new investor, the European Investment Fund.
Bernard Liautaud, General Partner at Balderton and founder of Business Objects, commented:
'Over the last few years, we have refined our investment focus to double down on European early stage start-ups. Some of our earlier funds have been a mixture of series A and later stage investment. As with our last fund, this one is focused on Series A, where we currently see the greatest opportunities in Europe. Our goal is to be the first venture fund with an international outlook to invest in a company. The team's strong operational experience gives us the expertise to back founders early and help build companies, which is why we are willing to take the risks and work with entrepreneurs at this earlier stage.'
Balderton has been investing since 2000, when it was Benchmark Capital Europe, before rebranding in 2007. It has backed some of Europe's best known tech companies and has had more exits above $250 million than nearly any other European venture investor.
On the increasing activity of European technology companies, Bernard Liautaud added:
'We're seeing more companies than ever, with close to 10,000 businesses reaching out to us last year, and an increasing quality of entrepreneurs entering the technology sector.'
Previous investee companies include Betfair (IPO in London, today worth $1.9 billion), LoveFilm (acquired by Amazon), MySQL (acquired by Sun Microsystems), NaturalMotion (acquired by Zynga) and Yoox (IPO in Milan, today worth $2 billion). The total value of the companies backed by Balderton is worth over $10 billion.
The current portfolio includes many identified as the next set of Europe's breakthrough companies, including Housetrip, Kobalt, Scytl, Talend, Wonga and Wooga. Recent investments include European companies such as GoCardless, Lyst, Top10.com, and Vivino.
On the new fund's strategy, Bernard Liautaud commented:
'Our focus has been on building the most experienced investment team in Europe, with a background in building companies and helping them expand internationally. We've been fortunate to back companies that are changing entire industries, such as Kobalt in the UK that is revolutionising the music industry, or Scytl in Barcelona that is disrupting the way we vote. These companies have significant revenues and are leading their respective industries on a global scale, starting out from Europe.'
Balderton has strong links to the US, and has a number of co-investments with Google Ventures, Benchmark, Accel and others.
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