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Highland Europe closes €1B fund to back European software and Internet companies

Highland Europe
Image credits: Highland Europe

Highland Europe, a London-based venture capital firm, has closed its fifth fund at €1B, bringing the total capital raised to €2.75B. 

The UK VC will use the funds to finance private software and consumer internet businesses across Europe. As a part of the funding round, David Blyghton, who joined Highland Europe in 2014, is promoted to Partner. 

The announcement comes over two years after closing its fourth fund at €700M.

Fergal Mullen, the Partner, says, “We want to thank all of those European founders who chose to partner with us over the past ten years. It is their ambition, talent, and drive that inspires us as we build category-defining businesses together. Current market conditions are not easy, but our founder-led companies continue to scale impressively and efficiently, with several world-leaders in the mix. We’re pleased that our investors share our conviction and thank them for their continued trust.”

According to the report, around €91.6B was invested in European startups, which is a 16% decline compared to the previous year. 

“Europe’s VC market ended December on a decidedly less optimistic note than in previous years, with ongoing uncertainty over how long current market conditions will persist and what the full impact on startups will be,” says PitchBook report.

Last year, Highland Europe led a £55M funding round in ME+EM, which claims to be UK’s first direct-to-consumer online website selling luxury fashion brands.

The VC also led a €60M round for French luxury rental and holiday company Le Collectionist, a $24M round for London-based Huel, a plant-based food brand, and participated in €58.6M funding round for Danish firm Podimo, a fast-growing subscription service for podcasts and audiobooks.

Other companies Highland Europe invested in include Adjust, AMCS, Camunda, ContentSquare, Descartes, Deepki, eGym, Featurespace, GetYourGuide, Huel, Jellysmack, Malwarebytes, MatchesFashion, Me+Em, Nexthink, Podimo, Spot, Supermetrics, WeTransfer, Wolt, and Zwift.

According to Greg Dewerpe, founder and CIO of VC firm A/O PropTech, investors have become more cautious with their capital in 2022 as more scrutiny is applied to investments than in previous years.

“The downturn means that deals are happening slower than they were two or three years ago, but this is a positive thing,” he says. “In the past, money has been thrown at companies too quickly, without the right level of due diligence and influence. That is one of the reasons we’re now experiencing widespread valuation readjustments.”

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