Best VC Firms in Europe

Benjamin Debonneville
Founder & CEO
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Europe's venture capital scene is not just thriving; it's breaking records.

With more than €16 billion invested in just the second quarter of this year, a landscape once marked by modest beginnings now sees multi-million euro rounds as standard.

From gaming to clean tech, digital health to big data, the opportunities are vast and growing.

Thinking of dipping your toes into Europe's booming VC ecosystem? Whether you're an entrepreneur or an investor, now is a thrilling time.

Stay tuned as we dive into the 15 top venture capital firms leading the charge in Europe's exciting investment frontier.

15 Top Venture Capital Firms in Europe

Ready to explore Europe's thriving VC scene? Dive in as we spotlight the 15 paramount venture capital firms making waves across the continent.

Here is our list of the best ones in the European fundraising landscape:

1. Seedcamp

With roots stretching back over 15 years, Seedcamp has solidified its reputation as Europe's premier seed fund. Leading the pack with a portfolio boasting 9 unicorns, they've made a colossal 299 investments, resulting in 48 triumphant exits.

Not only have their startups gone on to raise over $7Bn in follow-on funding, but Seedcamp also presents a self-sufficient network economy. Here, over 1,000 founders, mavens, and their teams join forces, share knowledge, and drive commerce.

Their offer? Unparalleled resources, talent access, and commercial connections. Located in the heart of London, Seedcamp's reach is vast, spanning technology to global markets.

With their impressive investment range of £200K to £750K, they are more than just backers; they're partners, offering a vast network and unmatched resources to propel startups.

Best Suited Startups

  • Technology-Focused Visionaries: Seedcamp hunts for founders revolutionizing industries with groundbreaking technological solutions, showing promise in vast global markets.
  • Early-Stage Enthusiasts: With ticket sizes between £300K-500K, Seedcamp is a perfect partner for those taking their first major institutional investment leap.
  • Disruptors Seeking Network: If you're looking to supercharge your venture with a collaborative, experienced network, Seedcamp is your destination, especially if it's a first major funding rodeo.

2. Global Founders Capital

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Berlin, Global Founders Capital (GFC) stands out as a trailblazer in the VC landscape.

With a staggering 987 investments, this stage-agnostic venture fund has a strong presence across the globe, spanning from Berlin to Beijing.

Their vast portfolio, boasting over 596 companies, includes industry heavyweights like Canva, Slack, and Delivery Hero.

Having sealed 129 successful exits, GFC's commitment is clear: backing gifted entrepreneurs from the seed stage to IPO, providing robust operational support through their comprehensive platform, and pouring investments ranging from $100K to $100M.

Best Suited Startups

  • Globally Oriented Ventures: Startups with a universal appeal and potential for worldwide expansion benefit from GFC's extensive global network.
  • Innovative Tech Enterprises: Those operating in sectors like internet, IT, financial software, and media find a passionate backer in GFC.
  • Early to Growth Stage Companies: With their stage-agnostic approach, GFC champions startups at various growth phases, offering tailored support throughout their journey.

3. Hiventures

Since its inception in 1999, Budapest-based Hiventures has cemented its status as Hungary's premier venture capital powerhouse.

With a commitment to boosting Hungarian enterprises, it's no surprise they've managed an impressive 906 investments, leading to a robust portfolio of 354 companies and 120 exits.

Their vast experience and unmatched network empower startups to giant corporations alike, offering unrivaled financing solutions across all growth stages.

Whether it's pioneering innovation or expanding market reach, Hiventures stands as the go-to partner for businesses eager to scale and make a mark in the industry.

Best Suited Startups

  • Hungarian-Based Ventures: Given Hiventures' dedication to the country, startups rooted in Hungary enjoy maximum alignment with their investment focus.
  • Innovative Startups: Hiventures seeks businesses with fresh, cutting-edge solutions, especially those poised for rapid growth in both domestic and international markets.
  • SMEs with Stable Market Base: Small, medium, and even large enterprises that have a secure foothold in Hungary and majority Hungarian ownership find a supportive ally in Hiventures.

4. Earlybird Venture Capital

Born in Berlin in 1997, Earlybird Venture Capital is more than just a venture capital firm; it's Europe's beacon for daring tech innovators.

With €2 billion under management, a portfolio ranging from FinTech to Robotics, and 25 years of experience, they're more than just financial backers.

Earlybird's four specialized teams guide startups through every development phase, ensuring strategic support and global networking.

Having orchestrated 34 investments in the last 12 months, ranging from €500,000 to €10 million, their optimism and eco-sustainable approach make them one of Europe's most prominent and responsible venture capital firms.

Best Suited Startups

  • European Tech Trailblazers: Earlybird has a penchant for disruptive tech startups, especially those based in Europe, poised to redefine industries.
  • Deep Tech Innovations: Startups harnessing the potential of robotics, AI, or mobility, especially those affiliated with leading European universities, resonate with Earlybird's vision.
  • Health and Fintech Pioneers: With dedicated funds for health and fintech, startups in these sectors, especially in their early stages, find a perfect ally in Earlybird.

5. Partech

Founded in 1982 from the ambitions of Silicon Valley pioneers, Partech stands tall today as a global tech investment powerhouse with $2.5B AUM.

Spread across four continents and 40 countries, their footprint includes 240 portfolio companies guided by 70 professionals from 20 nationalities.

Rooted in Paris, San Francisco, Dakar, and Berlin, Partech champions a range of technologies, investing between €200K and €75M.

Their diverse funds cater to startups from seed to growth stages. With a legacy marked by 20 IPOs and 50 M&A sales, Partech’s commitment isn't just financial; it's deeply entrepreneurial, always ready to venture into uncharted territories.

Best Suited Startups

  • Pan-African Ventures: With dedicated African funds, Partech targets emerging startups across the continent, fostering tech innovation and growth.
  • Diverse Technology Fields: Startups across various tech domains like software, digital brands, and deep tech find a fit with Partech's broad investment spectrum.
  • Early to Growth Stages: Partech's flexible investment approach ranging from seed to growth stages offers tailor-made support for startups at different development phases.

6. Speedinvest

Speedinvest, based in Vienna, is a standout early-stage investor in European tech, with more than €600m in AUM and 40+ investors across five cities.

Focusing on pre-seed and seed rounds, they boast 473 investments in their portfolio, including 232 active companies and 56 exits.

Their specialized teams in areas like Fintech, Health, and Climate Tech provide more than funding, offering unique operational support and industry know-how.

With successful investments in Wefox, Bitpanda, and Primer, they redefine VC by granting actionable, aligned, and game-changing support.

Best Suited Startups

  • Early-Stage Innovators: Specializing in pre-seed and seed rounds, Speedinvest is ideal for emerging startups needing flexible early-stage investment and guidance.
  • Tech-Centric Fields: Startups in areas like Deep Tech, Fintech, Health & TechBio, and Crypto will benefit from Speedinvest's focused expertise and industry networks.
  • Crypto Innovations: Startups disrupting with Crypto, be it through DeFi, NFTs, or Web3, find a knowledgeable ally in Speedinvest.

7. Octopus Ventures

Are you imagining a brighter future? Octopus Ventures does too. As one of Europe's leading venture capital firms, they've actively backed over 180 innovators across seven core sectors.

Since 2008, their astute focus has led to 32 fruitful exits. Not just another investor, Octopus stands tall with B Corp certification, emphasizing sustainable, impactful investments.

Their track record? Startups that reinvent industries, from carbon elimination to revolutionary space travel.

And with a whopping £10 billion investment aim by 2030, they're not just observers – they're enablers of a better tomorrow.

Best Suited Startups

  • Sustainable Innovators: They love teams slashing carbon footprints, and advocating a greener planet.
  • Healthcare Revolutionaries: Think cancer vaccines and healthcare transformations; they're all in.
  • Tech Trailblazers: If you're reshaping the internet or pioneering deep tech, Octopus wants to be part of your journey.

8. Holtzbrinck Ventures

From Munich's tech alleys, Holtzbrinck Ventures (HV Capital) emerged as Europe's premier venture backer.

With an impressive €2.8bn under management, they've championed 225 game-changers, propelling German billion-dollar sensations.

Their commitment? A decade or longer, ensuring startups flourish at every phase. By 2023, their stellar Fund IX, a staggering €700m treasure, is set to back the next era of digital mavericks.

With success tales like Zalando and HelloFresh in their ledger, HV doesn't just invest; they transform visions into legends.

Best Suited Startups

  • Digital Pioneers: A penchant for Internet and tech startups, elevating digital domains.
  • Long-term Visionaries: HV values enduring partnerships; they seek founders eyeing sustained market leadership.
  • Global Disruptors: Regardless of geography, they embrace ventures that redefine industries globally.

9. Digital Transformation Capital Partners

Incepted in 2015, Digital Transformation Capital Partners (DTCP) is at the nexus of people, capital, and groundbreaking ideas.

Commanding a potent $2.5Bn in assets and spearheading 60+ investments, their blueprint is lucid: galvanize the digital revolution.

With a footprint spanning London to Silicon Valley, their team of 50+ dynamos has championed ventures from mobile towers to data centers.

As they spun out of Deutsche Telekom, they retained an influential alliance, embodying their unwavering commitment to redefining the digital universe.

Best Suited Startups

  • Digital Infrastructure Visionaries: Pioneering solutions in fiber networks, mobile towers, or data centers.
  • Transformation Trailblazers: Ventures pushing digital transformation boundaries and driving societal value.
  • European Gems: Startups rooted in Europe, echoing DTCP's investment legacy and focus.

10. Wellington Partners

Since 1998, Wellington Partners, headquartered in Zurich and Munich, has crafted a legacy.

Committed to transforming entrepreneurial dreams into global benchmarks, they’ve impeccably channeled €590 million into 58 transformative life science ventures.

Their track record gleams with 27 spectacular exits and IPOs. But it's not just about the numbers.

Wellington dives deep, offering more than just funds. Their in-house maestros, MDs, and PhDs, channel their expertise, guiding startups from early to growth stages, ensuring not just growth but monumental success.

Best Suited Startups

  • Life Science Innovators: Companies revolutionizing biotech, therapeutics, medical devices, or diagnostics.
  • Patient-Centric Visionaries: Ventures committed to elevating patient care standards and transforming lives.
  • Global Ambition: Firms eager for strategic support to penetrate major healthcare markets—Europe, the U.S., and Asia.

11. High-Tech Gründerfonds

A paragon in seed investment, HTGF boasts an unmatched track record.

With 700+ startup investments, an impressive 1.4 billion euros under management, and a whopping 170+ exits & IPOs, they've solidified their reign in the high-tech realm.

Birthed from a mission to rejuvenate a once-dormant startup financing market, HTGF showcases an unparalleled commitment to entrepreneurs.

With roots in Bonn and an influential Berlin presence, they seamlessly combine public-private partnerships, offering startups not just capital, but a legacy of success.

Best Suited Startups

  • High-Tech Visionaries: Startups with transformative tech-based models aiming for market disruption.
  • Growth-Driven Ventures: High-potential firms looking for more than funds - needing expertise and global connections.
  • Market-Minded Innovators: Entrepreneurs with scalable solutions, driven by market demands, and seeking robust expansion avenues.

12. Point Nine Capital

Hailing from Berlin's tech epicenter, Point Nine Capital stands as a beacon for early-stage tech innovations.

Specializing in B2B SaaS and marketplaces, they've powered industry giants like Zendesk and Delivery Hero since 2008.

Their commitment? Investing mainly at the v0.9 stage with a promising ticket range of €0.5-5 million. Not confined to Europe, they’ve expanded their genius across the US, Canada, and beyond.

Their phenomenal track record speaks for itself: 65% of their seed-backed companies soar to Series A, and 10+ have crossed the $100M+ ARR mark.

Best Suited Startups

  • B2B SaaS Innovators: Companies driving change with unique Software-as-a-Service solutions.
  • Dynamic Digital Marketplaces: Startups reshaping online trade, bridging buyers and sellers innovatively.
  • Early-stage Tech Titans: Visionaries in internet tech, software development, and mobile data, craving global impact.

13. Hoxton Ventures

Embedded in the heart of Europe, Hoxton Ventures is a game-changer, passionately backing tech startups even before the world takes notice.

With a Silicon Valley mindset, they've manifested a staggering $34B value, with 4 unicorns in tow. A whopping 78% of their portfolio wins investments from top US funds.

Their prowess? A streamlined, risk-friendly approach led by a nimble team, focusing on the potential, not pitfalls.

The stats are undeniable: 27% women-founded, 58% immigrant-founded, and 42% minority-founded ventures. They aren't just a VC firm; they're the future of European venture dynamism.

Best Suited Startups

  • Industry Inventors: Entrepreneurs eager to craft new industries or reinvent existing giants.
  • Young Visionaries: First-timers, technical wizards, or domain experts hungry to fix the world's pressing problems.
  • US-Market Aspirants: Startups aiming to penetrate the US market, leveraging Hoxton's vast Silicon Valley connections.

14. Par Equity

Nestled in Edinburgh, Par Equity has masterminded a unique investment strategy since 2008, shaping the tech landscape of Northern UK.

With an impressive backing of 77 companies, they've catalyzed £425m in funds and nurtured 48 active portfolio ventures, all while safeguarding 1345 jobs.

Their hybrid approach marries angel investor wisdom with venture capital prowess, steered by a robust 200-strong Investor Network.

Boasting 93% investments in Northern UK and fueled by 322 EIS-qualifying rounds, Par Equity is revolutionizing early-stage tech investments.

Best Suited Startups

  • Northern Innovators: Tech companies rooted in Northern England, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, seeking localized expertise.
  • Growth Seekers: Ventures aiming for exponential growth, benefitting from Par's hybrid investment model and expansive network.
  • Tech Trailblazers: Startups offering groundbreaking tech solutions, aligned with Par's history of backing innovative projects.

15. Newfund Capital

Strategically anchored in both Paris and Silicon Valley, Newfund Capital stands tall as a pioneering seed-stage VC.

Committed to nurturing game-changing startups, they've successfully funneled $200 million into 64 active trailblazing ventures, while celebrating 14 prosperous exits.

Championing visionaries, Newfund is the haven where global impact ideas flourish.

Their robust investment spectrum spans from a nimble $250k to a generous $2M, emphasizing swift and aligned collaborations for unmatched growth.

Best Suited Startups

  • Impactful Visionaries: Entrepreneurs driven by transformative ideas that promise a considerable global imprint.
  • Swift Movers: Startups valuing efficient fundraising, keen to invest more time innovating than in prolonged pitching.
  • Globally Ambitious: Founders with an international perspective, echoing Newfund's dual-continent presence and global outlook.

Final Thoughts

As we've journeyed through the corridors of Europe's top VC firms, one thing stands clear: innovation knows no bounds.

Whether you're a startup dreaming big in Berlin, revolutionizing tech in Paris, or envisioning change from Edinburgh's historic streets, there's a VC out there sharing your ambition.

The blend of tradition with modern investment strategies these firms offer is a testament to Europe's evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

So, to all budding innovators: align with the right partners, trust the process, and remember—today's idea could be tomorrow's global sensation. Europe's venture horizon has never been brighter.

Benjamin gave great tips to my start-up Blend for polishing and optimising my pitch deck, refreshing perspective. Recommend!