Balderton Capital has raised $375 million for its sixth fund. The European VC—which has previously backed companies including ecommerce platform The Hut, online gambling company Betfair and MySQL, a database management system—will use the vehicle to further its support of technology companies on the continent.
Despite a history of participating in late-stage rounds—including deals with Kobalt Music and Prodigy Finance—Balderton's investment strategy focuses mainly on Series A investments in Europe, an environment that also happens to be experiencing overall sluggishness. Could the new fund provide a welcome boost?
European Series A deals now represent
less than 16% of all global investments across that deal type so far in 2017, per the PitchBook Platform. US-based deals, meanwhile, currently constitute more than 70% of all Series A rounds for the first time since 2014.
Percentage of completed Series A rounds by region
European businesses are already being somewhat
starved of seed funding; the news that the drought is extending to Series A rounds is, while not entirely surprising, somewhat concerning given the potential long-term implications.
The increasing focus on late-stage deals on both sides of the Atlantic (as seen in both our
3Q US and
European venture reports) may bring in the headlines. However, a lack of interest in fostering startups at the beginning begs the question—which firms will fund the next generation of Ubers, Airbnbs and Facebooks? Early-stage firms such as Balderton will be necessary in addressing the slide.