Venture capital group Highland Europe said on Monday it had raised 700 million euros ($851 million) for its fourth fund, its largest to date, and reinforced its team investing in European software and internet startups.
The new fund brings the total raised by Highland Europe to 1.8 billion euros since it was carved out from U.S.-based Highland Capital Partners in 2012 as a standalone investor with offices in London and Geneva.
Highland Europe focuses on growth bets in enterprise software and the consumer internet, and has joined funding rounds of over 100 million euros this year by digital consumer insights platform ContentSquare, interactive fitness app Zwift and food-delivery company Wolt.
Highland Europe has also made seven new investments this year while two of its portfolio companies found buyers.
“During 2020 we have seen 10-year trends in tech adoption compressed into one year across both consumer and business segments,” said co-founder and partner Fergal Mullen.
In a sign of deal activity to come, Highland Europe is promoting Jean Tardy-Joubert and Gajan Rajanathan – both formerly of investment banking boutique Qatalyst – to partner.
Chief Financial Officer Ronan Shally also becomes partner.
Tardy-Joubert, who had previously worked in an advisory capacity, is going full-time to address a pipeline of up to four candidates for initial public offerings while more than half a dozen portfolio firms are in sale talks, some of them exclusive.
“It’s really moving very, very fast,” Tardy-Joubert told Reuters, adding that European ‘Software as a Service’ companies were rapidly achieving scale.
The total amount raised by European venture funds has reached 15.8 billion euros in the current year to date, beating the previous record of 12.7 billion euros set in 2018, according to tech startup data platform Dealroom.