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European venture capital investment hits ten-year high of EUR6.4 billion

European venture capital investment reached its highest amount in a decade with EUR6.4 billion in 2017, according to Invest Europe.

Venture capital funds in Europe increased investments into companies of all stages and sizes last year. Seed and early stage investments grew almost 50 per cent year-on-year, reaching EUR649 million and EUR3.5 billion respectively, the association’s 2017 activity data report reveals. Meanwhile, later stage investments into larger companies reached EUR2.3 billion, the highest level since 2008. The information and communications technology (ICT) sector received 45 per cent of the total investment amount, followed by biotech and healthcare (23 per cent) and consumer goods and services (8 per cent).
Invest Europe has named Nenad Marovac as its Chair for 2018 to 2019. Founder and Managing Partner of global early-stage venture firm DN Capital, Marovac has over 25 years of investment experience in the technology and media sectors. Founded in 2000, DN Capital has supported early-stage and leading European companies, including British music recognition service Shazam, which is set to be acquired by Apple, and Germany’s leading used-car online marketplace, Auto1, which operates in 30 countries and is valued at EUR2.9 billion.
“Venture capital is no longer just about Silicon Valley and Boston – European VC is now making waves,” says Marovac. “As well as creating leading global companies such as Spotify, Auto1 and Klarna, not to mention life sciences successes including Ablynx and GenMab – European venture firms are generating fantastic returns to investors and contributing to the health of European economies.”
Prior to DN Capital, Nenad was a Partner at private equity firm Advent International in London and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. He succeeds APG Asset Management’s Marta Jankovic as Chair of the association and the role is effective immediately.
“Following the outstanding work by Marta Jankovic over the last 12 months, I’m looking forward to representing the broader private equity industry and its investors in my new role as Invest Europe Chair,” says Marovac.
Under Jankovic’s tenure, Invest Europe updated its best practice guidelines for operational activity, conduct and transparency with its 2018 Professional Standards Handbook. In a year that saw the European Commission announce its sustainable finance action plan, the association responded to the consultations and developed initiatives to help the industry continue to lead on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. As Chair of Invest Europe, Marovac aims to continue the strong focus on attracting more LPs to European venture capital.
“Nenad is a passionate and long-standing contributor to Invest Europe’s profile-raising work and industry events for European VC,” says Michael Collins, CEO of Invest Europe. “We are delighted that he has agreed to step into the role of Chair for the coming year.”
Replacing Marovac as Chair of Invest Europe’s VC Council is Katya Smirnyagina PhD, Partner at Belgian VC firm Capricorn Venture Partners.
For the first time in 2017, European venture funds raised on average almost EUR100 million at final closing, almost double the average of ten years ago. Invest Europe data reveals that European venture capital raised EUR7.7 billion in 2017, close to 2016’s record EUR8.2 billion fundraising year. Almost 1,200 companies were exited by VC funds last year, with a 60 per cent year-on-year increase in VC-backed companies going public.
Invest Europe’s membership is divided across four platforms representing different segments of the industry – venture capital, mid-market, large buy-out and limited partners (investors). Each platform is equally represented on Invest Europe’s Board of Directors, with the Chair selected from each platform in strict rotation. Marovac was selected by the members in the venture capital platform and will represent all Invest Europe members for this 2018/2019 tenure.

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