Europe’s most lively corporate VCs focus on pandemic-proof startups

On-demand supply startup Glovo is backed by Pernod Ricard’s undertaking arm, Convivialité Ventures. (Courtesy of

On-demand supply startup Glovo is backed by Pernod Ricard’s undertaking arm, Convivialité Ventures. (Courtesy of Glovo)

European startups attracted a record quantity of investment decision from corporate VC in 2020 as businesses sought to raise their exposure to pandemic-evidence sectors, and the development appears established to carry on into 2021.  

Previous yr, European startups raised a document $21.4 billion by rounds with CVC participation, a nearly 35{14cc2b5881a050199a960a1a3483042b446231310e72f0dc471a7a1eddd6b0c3} maximize around the 12 months before, in accordance to PitchBook details. About 34{14cc2b5881a050199a960a1a3483042b446231310e72f0dc471a7a1eddd6b0c3} of 2020’s financial investment was directed to IT and program startups, with healthcare organizations accounting for 23{14cc2b5881a050199a960a1a3483042b446231310e72f0dc471a7a1eddd6b0c3} of the funds lifted.

“The pandemic has proven that you will find under no circumstances been a improved time to be investing in software early-phase tech,” claimed Matthew Goldstein, a associate at Microsoft’s venture arm, M12. “It has grow to be very apparent that sitting on the sidelines is a dropping approach for corporate investors regardless of whether they are strategic or financially pushed.”

In lots of cases, CVCs back systems that are applicable to their sector or could even be built-in. Notable illustrations incorporate ABN AMRO Ventures, which joined an €85 million (around $102.4 million) spherical for Swedish open banking platform startup Tink in December. An additional is Convivialité Ventures, the undertaking arm of beverages team Pernod Ricard, which took part in a €150 million Sequence E for Spanish on-desire shipping and delivery startup Glovo in December. Far more not long ago, in January, the financial commitment arm of lorry manufacturer Scania backed a €132 million Series D for freight-forwarding program startup Sennder. 

Goldstein expects CVC interest in European startups to stay sturdy in 2021. Down below, PitchBook details shows the prime 5 CVCs in Europe and Israel in 2020 based mostly on deal rely:

Zürcher Kantonalbank (19)

Founded in 1870, Zürcher Kantonalbank is one particular of Switzerland’s greatest financial institutions. It will make VC investments by means of its startup fund Pionier, which focuses on early-stage startups. Its investments past yr include things like crypto custody platform service provider Metaco’s $17 million Sequence A. It also participated in a 20 million Swiss franc (around $22.3 million) spherical for Synendos Therapeutics, a biotech startup focusing on remedies for central nervous technique ailments.

Salesforce Ventures (16)

Based mostly in San Francisco, Salesforce Ventures is the VC device of the eponymous cloud-primarily based CRM computer software huge. The agency has been investing in Europe due to the fact 2015, committing an initial $100 million to startups on the continent, and released a $125 million car in 2019 solely for Europe. In November, Salesforce Ventures participated in on line occasions platform Hopin’s $125 million Collection B, as well as the startup’s $40 million round in June. Other investments last year consist of insurtech corporation Wefox and cybersecurity startup Privitar. 

VF Enterprise (14)

VF Undertaking is a section of the Danish point out expense fund, Vækstfonden, utilised for immediate equity investments in Danish corporations with ambitions of increasing internationally. It focuses on backing companies in sectors these kinds of as health care, IT and industrial technology. Previous year’s investments incorporate clinical gadget firm CathVision and agtech startup Nordic Harvest. 

M12 (14)

Set up in 2016 as Microsoft Ventures and rebranded in 2018, M12 backs early-stage B2B companies supplying them not only money but access to Microsoft’s goods and networks. The organization opened up a London business in January 2020, led by Matthew Goldstein, but has been investing in Europe and Israel due to the fact its inception. The organization participated in a €9 million round for organization travel startup Comtravo in January 2020, as perfectly as a $30 million Collection B for Wandelbots, a business that allows users plan industrial robots without the need of code. 

Boehringer Ingelheim Undertaking Fund (13)

Boehringer Ingelheim is one particular of the greatest German pharmaceutical firms and launched its very own CVC arm in 2010 to give the group entry to new therapies. The company normally invests up to €15 million about a company’s lifetime and has a complete fund volume of €250 million. Its investments very last 12 months consist of T-Knife, a developer of T-mobile therapies to handle most cancers, and immunotherapy startup eTheRNA Immunotherapies.