Benchmark Capital Europe raises €430 million

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Benchmark Capital Europe has raised €430 million for its new European venture capital fund. This is Benchmark’s third European fund, having raised €390 million in May 2000 and €290 million in July 2004.

“We ran out of money,” said Barry Maloney (far right), a London-based general partner with Benchmark. He was referring to the fact that the VC firm had committed all the capital in its previous fund and is looking for more investments.  We love the European investing environment right now,” Mr. Maloney said. “It has one-twentieth of the competition of some other markets and really smart entrepreneurs. He said the VC firm would prefer to focus on Europe rather than China, as many Silicon Valley VCs do. – source Red Herring

According to the firm, the fund was significantly oversubscribed and makes Benchmark one of the largest venture capital firms in Europe. Since 2000, it has funded over 50 European companies with investments ranging from €75,000 to over €39 million. In the past it has invested in Bebo, BetFair PageFlakes, RawFlow, RebTel, Zopa and Setanta to name but a few.

Trend:

With €2.97 billion invested after the first three quarters of the year, venture capital investment in Europe has already exceeded the amount invested in the same period of 2005 and is poised to surpass last year’s annual total, according to the quarterly European Venture Capital Report released by Dow Jones VentureOne
and Ernst & Young.

However, deal flow, at 631 financings, remains 26% off the pace of last year, indicating that investors are continuing to favor fewer deals into European venture-backed companies, but are supporting them with larger investment sums. Read the rest of this interesting report here.

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