Balderton Capital, the European VC investor behind MySQL, NaturalMotion and Yoox, has raised $305 million for its fifth European fund. As has been hinted at previously, the focus of the new fund will be on Series A investments in European tech startups. Other investments in other regions such as the US or Russia will be scaled back to focus exclusively on Europe. The total value of the companies backed by Balderton is worth over $10 billion. Its total funds under management will now be $2.2 billion.
The fund was raised principally from existing limited partners as well as including new investor, the European Investment Fund.
The announcement follows recent additions to the partnership of investors with strong operational and European backgrounds. Suranga Chandratillake, the founder of blinks (which IPO’d in 2012), and Daniel Waterhouse, formerly a partner at Wellington joined the team in late 2013. Waterhouse was previously with Yahoo! and is a board member of EyeEm, Hailo and YPlan.
Bernard Liautaud, General Partner at Balderton and founder of Business Objects, said the new fund has been raised to go after opportunities in the European tech sector.
“Over the last few years, we have refined our investment focus to double down on European early stage start-ups. Some of our earlier funds have been a mixture of series A and later stage investment. As with our last fund, this one is focused on Series A, where we currently see the greatest opportunities in Europe. Our goal is to be the first venture fund with an international outlook to invest in a company. The team’s strong operational experience gives us the expertise to back founders early and help build companies, which is why we are willing to take the risks and work with entrepreneurs at this earlier stage,” he said.
Previous investee companies include Betfair (IPO in London, today worth $1.9 billion), LoveFilm (acquired by Amazon), MySQL (acquired by Sun Microsystems), NaturalMotion (acquired by Zynga) and Yoox (IPO in Milan, today worth $2 billion).