Venture capital activity in Europe edging up, still way behind US

There has been a bit of buzz recently about the Q2 increase in VC activity in the US, and following discussion a discussion at a dinner last night where we fumbled for stats on the state of the venture market I decided to do a little research this morning and find out the latest trends.

As you can see from the charts below, it turns out that the level of venture activity in Europe is increasing slightly, particularly on the side of funds raised by VCs to invest into startups. The US is growing more strongly, and activity over here is still only a fraction of what it is over there, even though our economy is bigger. Deal volume in China has continued to decline.

Thanks to global recruitment firm Calibre One for pulling together these charts showing investment by VCs into startups:



And to DowJones for these stats on funds raised by VCs:



There is a seasonal pattern to fundraising by VCs with more activity usually occurring in the second half of the year, so the thing to look at in these last two charts is comparison between 2Q12 and 2Q11. That is where you see the growth.

And, for those that were wondering, tthe dinner was organised by Mike Butcher and Alena Dundas and kindly hosted by Propel.

  • hey nic
    encouraging data. good to see funds are raising, and investing – nearly 200 deals last quarter! Very cool. 

    although i wonder whether the time series is long enough & sufficiently data rich to actually show a trend rather than random noise.

    On venture fund raising – we only have five data points, organised by quarter. VC funds raise money very lumpily every few years – had a handful of funds closing in 2Q12 closed in 1Q12; the interpretation might have been ‘Euro VC fund raising declines’

    Likewise on capital going in to startups – it’s probably a weak assertion that the Calibre One data shows an increase that cannot be accounted for by noise. 

    Wouldn’t you agree?


  • Hi Azeem – I doubt the increases are statistically significant but looking at the data the best guess is that we are seeing an increase in activity. This was also the conclusion of a couple of other articles I came across when looking for these charts.