German VC High-Tech Gründerfonds has increased the target of its third fund's final close to €310 million. The vehicle has already collected €250 million for the seed-stage specialist, which makes investments of between €1 million to €3 million per company.
HTGF has been a European cornerstone for early-stage startups—outside of the Irish government’s Enterprise Ireland, HTGF is
the next most active VC investor in European seed rounds since the beginning of 2012, per the PitchBook Platform. But while HTGF may be steadily continuing to raise capital for seed-stage deals, a broader look at smaller-capital injections in the continent indicates that other early-stage investors may be losing interest.
Global seed-stage deal count fell by about 15% from 2015 to 2016, per PitchBook data, and with only 2,633 completed deals so far in 2017—compared to 5,122 last year—the decrease looks to be even steeper this time around. Europe's portion of global seed deals
has fallen each year since 2015.
Percentage of global VC seed rounds by region
It would be easy to correlate this fall in European seed funding proportion with the increased focus on older, more valuable companies, but in order for them to reach that stage, they must be fed from the start.