Further, we believe to serve our companies well, we must remain local - European. In this belief, our new shoots bloom. By virtue of our early stage portfolio growing up and now investing our ninth fund, Balderton already holds one of the largest growth stage portfolios in Europe. We have seen, first hand, the difference proximity, or lack thereof, makes for our founders and CEOs, particularly at the growth stage, where they grapple with wide ranging issues, from geographic expansion to going from product to platform, to capital markets planning, all at a breakneck pace. While there no longer exists a shortage of growth stage capital for European companies, local, European, proximate, and deeply experienced global growth investors remain in scarce supply. Both our portfolio companies and companies in whom we (regrettably!) failed to invest in consistently share this lamentation with us.
Building on the success of our first mid-stage fund, Liquidity Fund I, our approach for the Growth Fund is “one of few.” This means personalized attention from the entire partnership, with access to Balderton’s European leading platform team (the first in Europe when we started it a decade ago), for a dozen or so leading companies with global potential. Our Liquidity Fund introduced an important capital solution to the European venture market - the first fund with a dedicated capability to engage in secondary share purchases. This helped forestall the premature exits we had seen and adds robustness to the exit valuations. We felt at the time and now, armed with the experience of having invested the Liquidity Fund, strongly know that we introduced an important innovation for the broader ecosystem. Yet another root from which we graft the strategy, our Growth Fund has the capacity to work with companies on both a primary and secondary basis.