Balderton raises new $600M early-stage fund to back Europe’s next wave of breakout tech

Balderton team photo

We are delighted to announce our second fund of 2021 – a $600m fund focused on early-stage companies.

With close to 300 investments made since the firm was founded 21 years ago, Balderton has extensive experience backing exceptional founders from seed to growth stage, Europe-wide. Since the start of the year, Balderton has invested in 20 new startups in sectors ranging from reproductive health and instant commerce to data labelling and gaming.Read Suranga Chandratillake’s take on the story behind this latest fund, and our life as a multi-stage firm.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 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, Balderton

Balderton’s portfolio companies have collectively raised more than $6bn in follow-on funding this year, almost double the $3.1bn raised in the entirety of 2020. Four portfolio companies – Darktrace, Flywire, SOPHiA Genetics and Truecaller – have also gone public in landmark European IPOs and the firm has seen 10 exits, including Peakon’s sale to Workday, Nutmeg’s sale to JPMorgan Chase and Depop’s sale to Etsy.

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. 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.

Suranga Chandratillake General partner, Balderton

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.

Ranaa Yared General partner, Balderton

With Europe on track to raise a record $70bn 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.The firm is one of only a handful of genuinely pan-European investors with partners in key hubs across the region. The firm has raised four funds totalling close to $2bn 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.

The Balderton investment and portfolio services team has now grown to over 30 people.

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.Balderton’s Platform continues to expand, and the firm has added 13 people to its team in the last year, 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.Balderton has also reaffirmed 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.

Recognising the role that investors play in creating a more sustainable and equal economy, Balderton is sharing its SFGs with portfolio companies and working with them to take action to improve performance against the goals. Balderton was also proud to be awarded Level 2 Certification of the Diversity VC Standard in 2021, meaning the firm is considered to be leading the way on Diversity and Inclusion policy.