Navigating the complex EU VC ecosystem with Zeren
By Matthieu Pirouelle. Matthieu is the Managing Director of Zeren's EU business.
We, at Zeren, often get asked by our clients, and a broader network of relationships outside of Europe, to help them navigate the somewhat complex VC ecosystem. I have compiled below a high-level overview of the various markets we operate in on this side of the Atlantic, and I have included a few notable rounds for companies we are proud to call our clients.
France has a robust startup ecosystem, with Paris being one of the most prominent European hubs for innovation. In 2022, the total venture capital investments in France reached $15.1 billion, representing a 7% increase from the previous year, interestingly one of the only countries (with Switzerland) to see a positive YoY evolution. France has also leapfrogged Germany to become the biggest single VC market in continental Europe. The largest investment deals were in the technology and healthcare sectors, with companies such as Mirakl, Back Market, and Owkin securing significant funding rounds.
The UK remains the first market for venture capital in Europe. In 2022, the total investment volume reached $29.9 billion, a 27% decrease from the previous year (but a 300%+ increase over 4 years!). London continues to be the primary hub for startup activity, with fintech and biotech companies attracting the most significant investments. Revolut, Arrival, and Oxford Nanopore were among the notable companies that secured large funding rounds.
Germany has a growing startup ecosystem, with Berlin and Munich being the main hubs. In 2022, the total venture capital investments in Germany reached $11.7 billion, representing a 42% decrease from the previous year. The most significant investments were in the fintech and mobility sectors, with companies such as N26, Lilium, and Auto1 Group securing significant funding rounds.
Benelux – Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg – has a dynamic startup scene, with Amsterdam and Brussels being the primary hubs. In 2022, the total venture capital investments in Benelux reached $5.7 billion. The most significant investments were in the healthcare and fintech sectors, with companies such as Castor EDC, Mollie, and Bitpanda securing significant funding rounds.
The Nordics – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden – have a thriving startup ecosystem, with Stockholm and Helsinki being the main hubs. In 2022, the total venture capital investments in the Nordics reached $11.1 billion. The most significant investments were in the fintech and gaming sectors, with companies such as Klarna, Supercell, and Trustly securing significant funding rounds.
Last but not least, a data point that is also a very good long-term indicator, the number of active VCs (active in a given round in 2022), has doubled in four years, from 20k in 2019 to over 40k in 2022!
At Zeren, we work extensively across all these territories and regions, so if you have any question, please feel free to reach out to me directly at matthieu