Breaking Down European VCs Remarkable Year


[Pitchbook] Few could have predicted the heights to which Europe and Israel's venture capital market would reach in 2021, with capital invested surpassing €100 billion for the first time. A glut of outsized rounds and an increase in late-stage capital—which now accounts for 70% of total deal value—led to record numbers in 2021, as well as the continued participation from foreign and nontraditional investors.


PitchBook's 2021 Annual European Venture Report examines the key drivers that led to such a bumper year, breaking down activity across dealmaking, exits and fundraising, as well as regions.


Key takeaways

  • Despite expectations at the start of 2021 that investors would be more risk-averse, first-time rounds spiked to new highs as VCs became more confident in Europe's venture ecosystem.

  • Exit value more than tripled the previous record from 2018, totaling €142.5 billion, as investors and founders rushed to capitalize on favorable market conditions.

  • Although European VC funds swelled in size in 2021, the number of vehicles created sunk to its lowest level since 2013.

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