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Sean Lightbown

Financial Writer

Sean was a financial writer in PitchBook’s London office, working on the daily European newsletter. Previously, he worked in both London and New York for Mergermarket, writing and editing white-label reports for accounting firms, law firms and other service providers, covering topics including M&A, private equity and high-yield debt.

Sean holds a BSc in Politics with Economics from the University of Bath, and is a long-suffering Bolton Wanderers supporter.

ARTICLES BY CURRENT AUTHOR

Bridging the gap: How EQT Ventures aims to help startups cross the Atlantic

From his own experience, Alastair Mitchell knows what it takes for European startups to make it in the US. Now, as a partner with EQT Ventures, he’s helping today’s founders make the same transatlantic journey.
IPO

Understanding the IPO market’s pop culture

With the likes of Uber potentially listing, 2019 will cast the spotlight back on stock markets, particularly on opening day. But if public markets are for the long term, why do we obsess over “pop”?

How Brexit could affect startup funding in the UK

The UK leaving the EU is causing uncertainty in corporate and venture circles, yet private capital continues to flow. What will the impact of Brexit really be on startup funding?

The Series A team: The top 5 investors in Europe’s Series A rounds

In the “fewer but bigger” age of venture captial, early-stage deal figures have suffered as a result. However, a look at the numbers suggests one particular series has been a survivor.

Snoop Dogg aims for another VC hit with Klarna deal

The US rapper is showing no sign of slowing down his VC activity, adding the Swedish payments unicorn to an already-impressive portfolio of investments.

Why women investing in women matters

Female entrepreneurs are woefully underserved by traditional VC, which some argue is not only an injustice but also a wasted opportunity. We spoke to seven women on why that is and how to change the status quo.

With $300M, N26 looks to make a splash in the US

The German fintech company is valued at $2.7 billion after this latest round, and it’s aiming to break ground in a country ripe for financial services innovation.

The deals that made 2018 the year of VC secondaries

From Uber to Ola, check out our analysis of investments in five companies that put VC secondary deals on the map this year.

The deals that shook European M&A in 2018

Overall activity may be down, but the drama is still as high as ever. And as 2018 draws to a close, we take a look at some of the most complex and contentious deals made in the last year.

Europe’s 2018 VC- and PE-backed IPO highlights

From Spotify’s NYSE splash to Aston Martin gearing up in London, we look back at some of the biggest listings from Europe’s VC- and PE-backed companies.

How Balderton’s new secondaries fund plans to jump-start European VC

PitchBook talked with Balderton Capital’s Daniel Waterhouse and Laura Connell to discuss why they think the firm’s new $145 million secondary fund will help propel Europe’s venture ecosystem further.

SBOs and beyond: PE playing pass the parcel

A senary buyout is the extreme highlight of a rising trend of companies going through consecutive PE investments. But can multiple buyouts in a row really add value?

9 charts uncovering the state of European VC

With the end of the year fast approaching, we take a look at the makeup of Europe’s venture capital scene after the first nine months of the year.

Alternative exits: The rise of secondary deals in venture capital

The rise of secondary transactions in venture capital has helped ease the strain on early-stage investors in a low-exit environment. But how does this fit in the wider private-for-longer narrative?

Funding, collaboration and the gender gap: LPs on the record about Europe’s VC scene

Venture capital in Europe has changed significantly in the last decade, yet the gender gap remains a significant issue. Here’s what LPs at the recent European Women in VC Summit in Berlin think.

The top 14 VC investors in Europe and Israel’s autonomous car startups

This week’s Paris Motor Show comes amid unprecedented industry change, with self-driving cars at the fore. We took a look a the top investors backing autonomous vehicle startups in Europe and Israel.

Revolut and beyond: Meet the startups taking on the banking industry

Venture investment in fintech has exploded this year, with the rise of challenger banks paying no small part. We take a closer look at seven digital lenders that raised huge rounds in 2018.

How Blossom Capital plans to help Europe’s startups reach full bloom

Ophelia Brown, co-founder of Series A investor Blossom Capital, explains why her new fund wants to bridge Europe’s growth-funding gap.
IPO

Farfetch hits $5.8B in debut [datagraphic]

Farfetch has raised $885 million at $20 per share from its IPO, valuing the UK-based startup at $5.8 billion. Check out our datagraphic to uncover the key numbers, people and investors behind it.

Is VC’s insatiable appetite for biotech sustainable?

Venture investment in the biotech space reached record levels last year, and now 2018 has already set a new record of its own. What is driving this stunning pace, and can it continue?

The dangers of chasing unicorns

European countries are promoting programmes to increase the number of unicorns born within their borders. But focusing on $1 billion valuations could foster bad habits and be a recipe for disaster.

Can Blue Apron cook up a turnaround?

After a rotten debut year as a public company, signs are slowly emerging that the once-vaunted meal-kit startup Blue Apron is freshening things up. Is a rebound on the menu?
M&A

M&A graveyard: The 11 largest failed deals in Europe

Qualcomm’s dashed $44 billion deal for NXP is the latest in a long list of thwarted multibillion-dollar deals in Europe. We take a look at the most valuable M&A attempts that never crossed the line

Laying out the UK’s importance to the EU venture landscape

With less than a year to go until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, we highlight how much of the bloc’s VC dealmaking and fundraising is focused on the UK.

From startup to upstart: 5 VC tips for scaling your business

At the British Venture Capital Association’s recent “High Growth” event, five of the UK’s top venture investors shared their thoughts on what it takes for a startup to make it big.

The top 11 VC investors in German startups

World Cup holders Germany are famous for nurturing talent from a young age. Which firms are doing the same for the country’s startups?

Why founder-friendly funds could be the future for VC

Point Nine Capital managing partner and co-founder Christoph Janz tells PitchBook how the emergence of founder-friendly funds is driving a healthier European venture ecosystem.