2018 was a record year for the global venture capital market. It was a year of superlatives: The most amount of money invested in the highest number of private tech company financing rounds; some of the largest venture capital deals in history; the continuing rise of the mega funds that shake the market with every deal they make.
This resulted in over $207bn invested globally in over 14,000 deals throughout the course of the year. In Europe over $23bn was invested in European technology companies, up from just $5bn in 2013.
Across Europe 17 companies achieved “Unicorn” ($1bn valuation) status in 2018.
The base of European technology talent also continues to grow. The European professional developer population now stands at 5.5m (compared to 4.4m in the U.S.) This talent is spread across Europe with 15 cities having a developer population of 50,000+.
The top three locations for development talent in Europe, in order, are; London, Berlin and Paris.
We also noted a strong M&A market, we are particularly proud of the part we played in building the European leadership team for Qualtrics, who in Q4 accepted an all cash offer for $8bn from SAP. The UK continued to outperform the rest of Europe’s tech sector by attracting $7.9bn worth of investment. UK start-ups accounted for more than a third of sales, IPOs and mergers across Europe with $40bn worth of exits in 2018. Notable European exits included the flotations of Adyen, Farfetch and Avast and the acquisition of iZettle by PayPal.
The acquisition by U.S. PE giant of UK based Zoopla for $2.2bn was one of the top 10 PE deals in the world last year.
Renaissance is delighted to be working with Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman on his new venture Cazoo – which is shaping up to be one of the most interesting start-ups in Europe in 2019 with over £30m raised in a Series A round.
We are fortunate that our own business has mirrored this activity meaning 2018 has been an exceptional year for Renaissance Leadership. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients, investors and candidates for making 2018 such a great year. We look forward to 2019 and wish you all a happy and successful year ahead.
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