Listen to this article
Give us your feedback Thank you for your feedback.
What do you think?
Balderton Capital has become the latest investment firm this year to close a multimillion-dollar fund for investing in European start-ups in a further sign that the continent’s technology industry is shaking off a funding freeze that followed the Brexit vote.
The early-stage fund is the sixth of its kind from Balderton and is being backed by pension funds, family offices and endowments — as well as a committee of high-profile executives from Silicon Valley and European technology groups, which will consult start-ups on growth and exit plans.
“Brexit is obviously something that changes the market dynamic, but it changes more the way the money is distributed,” said Bernard Liautaud, Balderton’s managing partner. “It is unclear at this stage whether we will [invest in the UK], but we are not going to see the UK vanish.”
The cautious tone by Mr Liautaud highlights industry-wide concerns about hiring staff from the European Union. Investors have also been hit by a pause in funding from the European Investment Fund, a public-private partnership that accounts for more than a third of investment in UK-based venture capital funds.
Balderton, which manages $2.6bn of assets, declined to comment on whether the EIF had backed its new fund. It also declined to confirm the members or financial structure of its new advisory board.
The investment from Balderton, however, will add to hopes that Europe’s technology sector has regained momentum after a sharp slowdown in funding following the Brexit vote last year. Start-ups that already lag behind counterparts in the US and Asia in attracting early-stage investment saw venture capital investment drop by a third in the third quarter, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.
Despite concerns about Brexit, this year a number of large venture capital groups have launched multimillion-dollar funds focused on the sector. In July,Partech Ventures, the France-based investment firm, closed a €400m fund to invest in European and US technology start-ups just days after Felix Capital raised $150m in its second funding round.
In June, Brent Hoberman, co-founder of lastminute.com, raised $60m to invest in technology start-ups across Europe. In February, Atomico closed a $765m European tech fund to help new businesses expand.