6 reasons why 2021 was a stellar year for venture capital in Europe

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‍Pitchbook.com’s 2021 Annual European Venture Report showcases how the ongoing pandemic has continued to drive investors into tech businesses in Europe and Israel in 2021, resulting in an unprecedented level of venture capital activity.

The report delves further into this data, highlighting important trends in deal making, geography, exits, and fundraising, among other areas. Here’s a look at the ecosystems of Europe and Israel in 2021 according to the Pitchbook Venture Capital Report 2021.

1. For the First Time, Capital Invested Exceeds €100 Billion

Last year, European and Israeli entrepreneurs raised €102.9 billion (about $116.4 billion), up over 120 percent from 2020. Despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by the epidemic, the number of transactions set a new high with an estimated 10,583 transactions.

‍2. The United Kingdom Continues to Dominate Europe’s Venture Capital Industry

Despite a gradual reduction over the preceding four years following the Brexit vote, the UK and Ireland accounted for the majority of capital spent, with a minor increase in their percentage of the continent’s total funding. DACH and France & Benelux remained the second and third largest European VC regions, respectively, despite the latter’s percentage of Europe and Israel’s overall capital invested falling.

3. Larger Circles Eat a Larger Portion of the Pie

In 2021, the European ecosystem saw a surge in large rounds and new unicorns. This was thanks to a rise in late-stage fundraising, which now represents 70% of total deal value. The Pitchbook Venture Capital report 2021 says that, despite early stage rounds accounting for a smaller percentage of total funding, first-time financings in fact grew in size.‍

4. The Number of Non-Traditional Investors is Increasing

The European Venture Capital report shows that venture capital is diversifying. Last year, the value of VC deals with involvement from unconventional investors reached a new high of €78.4 billion. When compared to other asset classes, VC provided better pandemic resilience and high-growth prospects. As a result, this prompted investors at top venture capital firms to seek additional exposure.

5. Exit Value is Dominated by Public Listings

Founders and investment capitalists hurried to exit at an unrelenting rate, with an amazing €142.5 billion in exit value. This was more than quadruple the previous record set in 2018. With high-profile listings from Wise, Deliveroo, and Auto1 Group, IPOs accounted for the majority of the value.‍

6. Venture Capital Funding is a Mixed Bag

Only 2017 surpassed 2016 as the most capital raised for VC funds in a calendar year. Larger  venture fund sizes have resulted from strong return profiles and growing demand for technology VC investments. However, as the number of venture funds fell to its lowest level since 2013, more capital is concentrated in fewer hands.

If you enjoyed this, find out whether or not the Golden Era of Venture Capital is coming to an end.


Amit Khanna

Amit Khanna, 7startup Founder


Amit has 18 years of experience in the industry and an MBA. He supports entrepreneurs with every aspect of their business including concept and product development, investor presentations, and fundraising. Amit & 7startup assist startups in the pre due-diligence process and help connect them to our vast network of investors. Reach out to us today and see if we’re a fit!

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