The VCs that founders need to know

After another record-breaking year, in which VC investment surpassed more than €38bn in Europe, Dealroom has released its annual ranking of the Most Prominent Venture Capital Investors for 2021 - and this time, it’s gone global. 

Working closely with the VC community and building on the success of previous years’ rankings, Dealroom has created a tool to help startup entrepreneurs and founders work out which investors they should spend time and energy on. The rankings are based on data captured by Dealroom’s database as well as direct feedback from VCs themselves. 

Previous rankings have focused on the most prominent Seed and Series A round investors in Europe, but the 2021 edition expands this region to cover the whole of EMEA. Dealroom has also introduced global rankings for the first time, in part because of the huge appetite from US investors for European tech startups and scaleups. Investments are counted by the territory in which they are made, rather than the location of the investor.

Yoram Wijngaarde, Founder and CEO of Dealroom, said: “Two strong themes emerged from VC investing in 2020. The first is that Europe is now firmly on the global investor map. Some of the biggest US funds have voted with their feet, setting up European offices in 2020. Global VCs want to ensure they don't miss the next UIPath - a company founded in Romania that reached a $35B valuation earlier this year.

"The second is that European investors are not letting their foot off the gas. European VCs are raising bigger funds, signing bigger cheques, and more of them. For the first time, we have been able to rank the most prominent VCs - European and global - across a range of metrics, providing an even more transparent and valuable benchmarking tool for founders, LPs and investors alike.” 

“Venture Capital and innovation is increasingly borderless. US investors have broadened their horizons, and European VCs are also investing all over the world, driven by global opportunities and enabled by distributed working in the last 12 months. So this year we felt it made sense to add a global ranking into the mix.”

Most prominent investors in Europe

Top 10 EMEA Combined
  1. Accel
  2. Index Ventures
  3. LocalGlobe
  4. Entrée Capital
  5. Point Nine Capital
  6. Bessemer Venture Partners
  7. Idinvest Partners
  8. Seedcamp
  9. Mangrove Capital Partners
  10. Balderton Capital

Accel tops the list of the most prominent investors of the last year in the EMEA region, ahead of Index Ventures and LocalGlobe, in a top 10 dominated by Seed and Series A investors. In total, the top 10 most prominent investors made 254 EMEA deals during 2020. The top ten share a combined 133 unicorns in their portfolios, and 184 Future Unicorns.  

The only entries from the EMEA top 10 to make the global ranking equivalent were Accel and Index Ventures, 3rd and 7th respectively, behind Sequoia Capital (2) and SV Angel (1). The entire top 10 made a total of 802 investments in the last 12 months.

When the EMEA data is broken down specifically into Seed, and Series A deals, UK and French investors have so far had the highest unicorn and future unicorn hit rate. 

Sonali De Rycker, Partner at Accel, said: “It feels like the European ecosystem has really come of age and it’s been amazing to see the acceleration that’s happened over the last few years in particular. This year, it’s 21 years this year since we opened our London office and we’ve seen first-hand how pockets of incredible talent, innovation and ambition across Europe have evolved into 20 or so interconnecting hubs that have all reached a tipping point.

"The quality of entrepreneurs, the strength of the ecosystem and companies being built by first and second generation teams, as well as the availability of capital, have all come together to produce a stream of global success stories."

Top 10 Seed EMEA 
  1. LocalGlobe
  2. Entrée Capital
  3. Point Nine Capital
  4. Seedcamp
  5. Mangrove Capital Partners
  6. Cherry Ventures
  7. SV Angel
  8. BOLDstart Ventures
  9. 500 Startups
  10. Hoxton Ventures

Within the top 10 most prominent Seed investors in EMEA in 2020 are four UK-based investors with LocalGlobe heading the list and Entrée Capital in second place. Seedcamp and Hoxton Ventures from the UK also make it into the top 10 at 4 and 10 respectively. The other investors in the top 10 are Germany’s Point Nine Capital and Cherry Ventures at (3) and (6), and Luxembourg’s Mangrove Capital Partners (5). Only three US-based VCs make it into the most prominent 10 Seed investors for EMEA investments, and they are SV Angel (7), BOLDstart Ventures (8) and 500 Startups (9). 

George Henry, General Partner, LocalGlobe said: “European and Israeli venture capital funds had a very strong year in 2020, not least because there is so much talent and entrepreneurial quality to invest in across the region. As digital adoption gathers pace, the need for later stage capital in EMEA becomes more acute.

"LocalGlobe is focussed on a region that is four hours travel by train from our home in London and within it we have a market of 41 million people, over 120 unicorns and with an annual IT enterprise spend of $128bn. This is a strong tech ecosystem and only likely to get stronger as businesses realise that digital tools give them a distinct advantage, even in traditional sectors."

Top 10 Series A EMEA 
  1. Accel
  2. Index Ventures
  3. Bessemer Venture Partners
  4. Idinvest Partners
  5. Balderton Capital
  6. Sequoia Capital
  7. Northzone
  8. Atomico
  9. HV Capital
  10. Creandum

In the Series A category for EMEA, Accel came out on top with 31 EMEA portfolio and exited unicorns, 34 future unicorns and 32 EMEA deals. Second place Index Ventures meanwhile had 30 EMEA unicorns, 34 future unicorns and 35 deals. The investor with the highest number of future unicorns in their portfolio is fourth-place IDinvest Partners (41). 

US firms dominate global rankings

Top 10 Global Combined
  1. SV Angel
  2. Sequoia Capital
  3. Accel
  4. Kleiner Perkins
  5. Andreessen Horowitz
  6. Index Ventures
  7. GV
  8. 500 Startups
  9. BoxGroup
  10. First Round Capital

Top 10 Series A Global 

  1. Sequoia Capital
  2. Accel
  3. Kleiner Perkins
  4. Andreessen Horowitz
  5. Index Ventures
  6. GV
  7. Lightspeed Venture Partners
  8. Bessemer Venture Partners
  9. Founders Fund
  10. IDG Capital

Among the global Seed, and Series A rankings, US firms once again dominate. All but one of the top 10 global Seed investors are based outside of the US and Canada, and that’s Zhen Fund in Asia in sixth. At the top of the global Seed ranking is SV Angel, ahead of 500 Startups and Box Group. 

Sequoia Capital and Accel top the list of the most prominent global Series A investors, an achievement which is unsurprising given Sequoia’s 206 deals, as well as Accel’s 114 total deals in 2020. Only one EMEA-based VC made the top 10 most prominent investors globally, and that was Index Ventures in sixth. Asia’s IDG Capital rounded off the top 10. 

Looking purely at UK investors focussing on Seed stage, the earliest stage at which external investors usually fund a startup, LocalGlobe comes first. 

Top 5 UK Seed EMEA
  1. LocalGlobe
  2. Entrée Capital
  3. Seedcamp
  4. Hoxton Ventures
  5. Stride.VC
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Dealroom provides market intelligence to startups, investors and corporates to stay ahead of their competition. Dealroom was founded in 2013, out of an itch to bring business information systems to the 21st century.

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