In the tech startup world, most businesses’ ability to survive hinges on investment. Being picked up by a successful venture capital firm is a major goal for many of these companies, and while investment can come from anywhere in the world, London-based firms understandably carry a premium. But as there are many different types of startups working at different levels of business maturity, the variety of investment is equally diverse. In this article, we look at the firms which invest in more mature businesses, ones which have demonstrated that they have an idea that will fly, but who need the financial support to really make a splash.
Managing around $1bn in investments, Scottish Equity Partners has one of the most impressive track records for a firm of its kind in Europe. Typically choosing investments in some of the best technology firms around, they make equity investments of around $10-20 million. Their most recognisable investment to consumers might be Skyscanner which they recently exited for about $1 billion.
Specialising in fintech startups, growth, and late-stage businesses, Augmentum Capital is well established in its field. The firm’s normal level of investment is between £3 million and £10 million and typically that will go towards companies which work in trading, lending and crowdfunding.
Though not the biggest fund with around £185 million under management, Connection Capital’s portfolio includes some of the more recognisable brand names on this list. Wagamama, PureGym and Virgin Wines are just three which demonstrate what these venture capitalists are after. They will only take on established clients who are already turning a profit, who want to expand their businesses in other areas.
Dropbox, Deliveroo, Just Eat and Slack: these are just four companies in which Index Ventures have a stake and which are all on the verge of becoming household names. While their portfolio is spread over a number of industries, their recent ventures have increasingly ventured into the fast-growth technology markets and with this move, Index Ventures has demonstrated its continuing pedigree. Founded in 1996 in Geneva, Index Ventures is based between London and San Francisco and over 35,000 people are employed within its group of companies.
With over £100 million invested in the past year, Octopus Ventures, with a tentacle in many of the tech firms shooting to prominence in the past decade or so, is a big player indeed. A whopping $1.3 billion is currently under management in companies like Zoopla, YPlan and exciting new music concert platform Sofar Sounds. Having previously been big in healthcare and energy, the Octopus clearly has its eyes set on pastures new and technological.
As the largest Series A focused European venture capital firm, Balderton Capital is a name that carries weight. If you’ve sold clothes on Depop, got your holiday money through Revolut or looked up your old uni on the Tab, you have come into contact Balderton’s investments, whether you knew it or not. Their big ambition is to nurture the next technology giant, which they believe will be European, to rival the likes of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
Pushing to get involved in the technology market, Arts Alliance has been heavily investing in companies like Shazam, MyTutor and BlinkBox over the years. Over 40 companies have received investment since the fund began in 1996 and Norwegian founder Thomas Høegh, an artist turned businessman, has built his reputation on growing high-tech, creative companies throughout Europe.