EQT today announced the successful closing of EQT Ventures II (or the “Fund”), securing commitments totaling EUR 660 million, of which approximately EUR 620 million are fee paying, just 3.5 years after EQT Ventures I launched. The Fund is one of the largest European venture capital (“VC”) funds and demand from both existing and new investors was strong.
EQT Ventures II will build on the multi-stage strategy of its predecessor fund EQT Ventures I, which secured commitments totaling EUR 566 million in 2016, investing in the next generation of ambitious founders and building global winners out of Europe. In addition to partnering early on with bold European founders (typically at Series A and B funding rounds), the Fund will continue to bridge the US and Europe, providing support and capital for US founders (typically at Series B and C rounds) keen to scale into Europe. Motherbrain, EQT's proprietary in-house developed artificial intelligence system that helps source attractive investments, will also remain central to the Fund’s strategy.
Born inside the EQT Ventures advisory team and spun out to its own dedicated team in 2016, Motherbrain is managed as a start-up inside EQT. Keeping track of millions of companies every day, Motherbrain enables the EQT Ventures advisory team to assess companies faster, improve assessment accuracy and spend more time on the right companies earlier. The self-learning platform is involved in prioritizing and evaluating all potential investments and deeply integrated throughout the sourcing process. Five EQT Ventures' portfolio companies have been sourced by Motherbrain so far - Peakon, Handshake, AnyDesk, Warducks and Standard Cognition.
The EQT Ventures advisory team, consisting of former founders and entrepreneurs from companies such as Spotify, King, Booking.com, Lithium, Huddle and Hotels.com, supports portfolio companies in a wide range of disciplines. These include product, marketing and communications, engineering, analytics, user experience, international expansion, sales, partnerships and finance.
With advisory teams in Stockholm, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Berlin, EQT Ventures’ “local-with-locals” approach and hands-on support for founders started to produce strong results early on. Just 2.5 years after its launch, the EQT Ventures I fund had its first exit when it sold its stake in mobile games company Small Giant Games to leading social games developer Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA) in a deal valued at USD 700 million.
Hjalmar Winbladh, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to the EQT Ventures funds, commented: “Building a global success story requires more than just capital. It requires grit, ambition, teamwork and support from people who have experienced the start-up journey firsthand. Being a large multi-stage investor, the EQT Ventures advisory team supports and coaches entrepreneurs on their journeys so they can scale and deliver long-term sustainable growth. Europe has never lacked ambition, talent or innovation but compared with the US, European start-ups have often struggled to access the capital they needed to grow from bright ideas into proven businesses. With this fund, EQT Ventures wants to continue to close this funding gap and its size is clear evidence of the growing confidence in European tech, which is punching above its weight. The team is looking forward to partnering with more of the boldest founders in Europe and the US.”
Christian Sinding, CEO and Managing Partner of EQT Partners, added: “Digital innovation is reshaping industries by disrupting existing business and operating models. This presents an opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs keen to transform every sector imaginable. With the EQT Ventures advisory team’s deep experience of founding and supporting start-ups, they are ideally positioned to support the next wave of founders and this is evident in the superb performance of the first fund. We are proud of what the team has achieved so far and looking forward to the next stage of EQT Ventures’ journey.”
EQT Ventures II is backed by a global blue-chip investor base consisting of, among others, pension funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, foundations and family offices. Backing from new and existing investors from Europe, the US and Asia, highlights the growing confidence in European tech start-ups and talent.
Recent additions to EQT Ventures’ portfolio include Einride (USD 25 million Series A), BEAT81 (EUR 6.4 million Series A) and Standard Cognition (USD 35 million Series B).
EQT Ventures’ dedicated investment advisory team will continue to leverage the global network of EQT’s advisors and global platform, as well as the proven governance model and growth-focused approach to drive performance.
The fundraising for the Fund has now closed. Accordingly, the foregoing should in no way be treated as any form of offer or solicitation to subscribe for or make any commitments for or in respect of any securities or other interests or to engage in any other transaction.
About EQT Ventures
EQT Ventures is a multi-stage VC fund that partners with the most ambitious and boldest founders in Europe and the US. The fund is based in Luxembourg and has investment advisors stationed in Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, San Francisco and Berlin. Fuelled by some of Europe’s most experienced company builders and scalers, EQT Ventures helps the next generation of entrepreneurs with the capital and hands on support needed to build global winners.
EQT is a differentiated global investment organization with more than EUR 62 billion in raised capital and around EUR 41 billion in assets under management across 20 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 21 billion and approximately 127,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.