Congratulations to the busy bees over at Index Ventures for closing their €400m growth equity fund. With new funds targeting mature technology companies also from Carlyle, Fidelity Ventures and Wellington among others, this is the strongest sign yet that European tech investing is coming of age.
Index's Giuseppe has a thesis that there is a crop of sucessful VC-backed startups in Europe that would normally sell out early, but could in fact become global market leaders given the right backing. And he's right. If we look at home-grown tech companies of the past 5 years -- like MySQL, Cramer Systems, Cartesis, Qliktech, FRSGLobal, Smartstream, DocMorris, Trema, Ion Trading -- they have proven that it's possible to build financially and operationally successful market leaders from Europe. Now, less than 15 years after venture capital set root in Europe, we have specialised investor capital available for each stage of a company's development: seed (eg Samwer brothers, Howzat) - startup & expansion (Spark, Amadeus, Advent, Sofinnova, Iris, et al) - growth equity (Kennet, Index) - buyout (HgCapital, General Atlantic, Hellman & Friedman).
This maturation of the industry is good news for European entrepreneurs, and for the European economies that benefit from their successes.