PE Tech Report


Like this article?

Sign up to our free newsletter

Highland Europe launches EUR463m growth fund

Highland Europe has closed its third fund in six years, raising EUR463 million to boost funding for globally ambitious European software and internet-enabled businesses.

Significantly oversubscribed, the fund was raised in just 12 weeks and takes the firm’s assets under management to EUR1.1 billion.
There are now 29 active companies in the Highland Europe portfolio, with combined revenues of EUR1.1 billion in 2017. Together the firm’s companies employ over 6,500 people and are based primarily in Germany, the UK, and France and more broadly in Finland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the US.
Over the last 18 months, Highland Europe has sold stakes in the leading luxury fashion retailer, game developer SocialPoint and waste industry software provider AMCS Group, generating more than EUR2.4 billion worth of enterprise value. Meanwhile, Berlin-based GetYourGuide raised EUR74 million in a follow-on round at the end of 2017.
“We’re excited to have extra firepower to continue investing in the most exciting tech businesses in Europe,” says Highland Europe Partner and Co-Founder Fergal Mullen, commenting on the raise. “At the same time, we’re consciously staying nimble and remain focused on helping the entrepreneurs we back scale-up internationally and achieve their ambitions. It takes more than capital and determination to build billion dollar businesses – and that’s what Highland Europe is all about.”
Strategically the firm will continue to focus on rapidly growing software and internet-enabled companies that have reached sufficient scale to confirm the validity of their business model. Highland Europe’s core ethos is about surrounding founders with scale-up expertise to create leading international businesses.
“Helping founders and management teams achieve their full potential is the single most important thing that we do,” says Mullen. “When evaluating teams, our scorecard prioritises excellent interpersonal relationships because we know from decades of experience that a positive frame of mind and constructive approach always deliver a better outcome.  We are proud of our cheerleading role with founders and their teams, while never losing sight of our obligation to provide careful stewardship of capital.”
“We are growth-obsessed because it is the most significant driver of value in a company. Scaling the team and the organisation presents serious challenges and therefore we prioritise recruitment of management and Board talent above all other value creation initiatives and work closely with founders to fashion changes that benefit everyone.”
Entrepreneurial as the companies it backs, Highland Europe brings three decades of investment experience in the US, China and Europe to the table. From a group of five partners in 2013, Highland Europe’s global platform today includes a team of 12 investment professionals, a network of Executive and Board advisors as well as strategic partnerships with industry-leading service providers – all of which are leveraged by the companies and founders that the firm backs.
“Our investors are quite mission-focused and by delivering compelling financial returns, we enable them to continue their laudable pursuits,” says Mullen. “These investors provide inspiration and motivation to the entire team at Highland Europe making what we do so rewarding.”

Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter