British Business Investments, the commercial arm of the British Business Bank, today announces that it is investing £15m in a new fund raised by Balderton, Europe’s leading investor in Series A-stage technology companies.
The investment is being made under its VC Catalyst programme, which has now made total commitments of around £120m to 11 venture capital funds since its inception in 2013. The VC Catalyst programme’s diversified portfolio includes life sciences, energy and resource efficiency across early and growth-stage technology businesses.
Balderton’s latest fund has been raised from new and existing investors from Europe, the U.S. and Asia.
Bernard Liautaud, Balderton Capital’s Managing Partner, said: “Europe’s technology sector has already produced many game-changing global companies, but we are still waiting for our continent’s very own Google, Amazon or Facebook to emerge.
“As European startups grow bigger faster, we are convinced that is finally about to change. With growth accelerating – this year to date European companies have attracted more than $12.5bn of venture investments1 – the continent can now produce and scale tech businesses of global significance.
“From A.I. to gaming, and music to messaging, Europe has built up reservoirs of world-class expertise which has inspired a generation of entrepreneurs with ten times the ambition of a decade ago.”
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Investments, said: “Our commitment of £15m to Balderton’s new fund will help innovative, early-stage technology businesses access the finance they need to grow and succeed.
“The British Business Bank is the UK’s largest British-based venture capital investor, with over £1bn committed across a range of different programmes. At British Business Investments, the Bank’s commercial arm, we are actively seeking new partners with investment strategies that meet our strategic and commercial objectives.”
Balderton has a track-record of backing breakthrough companies ranging from MySQL to Betfair, and The Hut Group to Yoox Net-a-Porter, and over the past few years has invested in some of Europe’s most dynamic and fastest-growing tech businesses. These include data analytics company Talend, which went public on the NASDAQ in 2016; A.I. startup Magic Pony, which was acquired by Twitter last year; Kobalt, the world’s leading independent music services company; and NaturalMotion, the mobile gaming business, acquired by Zynga in 2014.
1 Source: Pitchbook VC equity investments YTD 2017, European HQ companies only.
About British Business Investments
British Business Investments is the trading name of British Business Bank Investments Ltd, the commercial arm of the British Business Bank. It aims to earn a commercial return by investing – through finance providers – in smaller businesses and small mid-caps, pursuing investments on a fully commercial basis without receiving any advantage from the government. Find out more at www.bbinv.co.uk.
British Business Bank Investments Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank. Neither entity is authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.
About Balderton Capital
Balderton Capital is Europe’s largest early stage venture capital investor, focused on European technology companies at Series A. Based in London, the firm manages $2.6bn and invests in entrepreneurs building globally ambitious businesses. Balderton’s Partners and advisory team include the founders and operational leaders of multi-billion dollar companies including Business Objects, Dropbox, Uber and Autonomy. Previous investments include Betfair (FTSE: BET), Magic Pony (Twitter), NaturalMotion (Zynga), Sunrise (Microsoft) and Yoox Net-a-Porter (BIT: YNAP). Among Balderton’s current portfolio of 76 companies are: Aircall, Carwow, Citymapper, Contentful, GoCardless, The Hut Group, Kobalt Music, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, Recorded Future, Revolut, ROLI, SOPHiA Genetics, Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), Vestiaire Collective, and Vivino. For more see http://www.balderton.com or follow @balderton.
This year the firm has looked at more than 2,000 startups, from which it has made 10 investments in five countries since March, including Luno, Hiya and SOPHiA Genetics. Balderton’s previous fund (Fund V) has seen a range of category leaders such as Nutmeg, Revolut, Prodigy Finance, Aircall, Carwow, and Frontier Car Group emerge.
A small team with entrepreneurial roots, Balderton’s partners have between them founded companies that went on to become multi-billion dollar businesses, and worked in the engine rooms of some of the world’s best-known tech brands – including Uber and Dropbox. They have backgrounds and deep networks in Silicon Valley and beyond, and have returned to Europe to play their part in building businesses which will fuel economic growth, jobs and opportunity.