The 20 investment rounds that have made Europe soar in 2014

Italy is missing, but Europe has moved close to the US for the first time: Germany and the UK are doing very well and, together, claim half of the rounds worth over 50 million

This article was published in the eBook Italia 2015 CheFuturo! available free of charge at CheFuturo!
In the language of venture capital, a round indicates one of a series of investments made in a temporal sequence in a startup that valorizes the startup itself and with increasing absolute amounts.
Therefore, the first, or seed, round begins with a small sum (tens or hundreds of thousands of euros) for the creation of a startup and can ultimately reach millions of euros in the final investment rounds (indicated as b, c, etc.).
While it is relatively easy in any part of the world for startups to obtain seed rounds, only in very few areas (until recently only in the US) was it possible for startups to obtain further rounds with multimillion investments.

shutterstock_28785862-118 billion less in investments for startups in Europe

In effect, the gap between Europe and the US for startup investments by Venture Capital funds is wide: about 22 billion dollars in 2013 in the US versus about 4 in Europe.
Within Europe the majority of investments are made in the UK (about 27%). Italy makes up 3% of the EU total. But the situation is changing: there are some European startups that are managing to attract important investments, over 50 million dollars, just like the best American startups.
The biggest surprise is Germany, the top country for startup rounds over 50 million dollars in 2014: 6 startups out of 20 are German, and 3 out of 5 of the biggest investments were in Germany.
Some countries like Israel, the second country worldwide for investments in startups, are clearly under-represented in this classification, while others, like Holland, are over-represented.
Unfortunately, Italy is not present. Just one of these startups collects the total for all investments in Italy.

Investment Round

The most important areas of investment during the year were:
•  Food online ordering and delivery which even includes Amazon and Google among the actors
•  Payment platforms and Fintech with Apple and Samsung participating
•  Innovation in specific areas like online voting platforms and worldwide white pages for mobile phones
Let’s take a look at the most important ones.
Germany (6 investments over 50 million)
Thanks to the development of Berlin as a tech hub and Rocket Internet IPO, Germany collected over 1 billion dollars in 2014 (solely considering investment rounds over 50 million dollars), becoming one of the global poles of innovation, attracting capital from the US.
The amount raised in 2014 by Delivery Hero is impressive, and one of the biggest of all times in Europe.
1. Delivery Hero: online food-ordering service
    Investments 2014:  $635 million
2. Lazada: eCommerce marketplace for Southwest Asia
    Investments 2014: $ 250 million
3. Jumia: Online retailer with ITA logistics for distribution in African countries  Investments 2014  $ 150 million
4. Westwing: eCommerce for home and living   Investments 2014    $ 96.5 million
5. Foodpanda: Online food-ordering service
    Investments 2014   $ 80 million
6. Blue Yonder:  Big data
    Investments  2014   $ 75 million
UK (3 investments over 50 million)
Though Berlin has made impressive progress, London remains the longstanding European pole of venture capital with about 1.2 billion euros in investments in startups each year thanks to a favorable taxation system and incentives for risk capital and sophisticated financial tools (like the venture capital trusts quoted on the stock exchange).
7. Kobalt Music Group:  management and collection of musical royalties 
    Investments 2014: $140 million
8. Borro: luxury asset loans. It moved $180 million
     Investments  2014 : $112 million
9. Farfetch: marketplace for fashion boutiques
    Investments 2014: $66 million
Holland (3 investments over 50 million)
A country that is traditionally endowed with financial markets and a notable capacity for innovation when considering its small size, participates in this classification with three startups.
10. Ayden: Global multi-device payment platform  
 Investments 2014: $250 million
11. Takeaway: Online food-ordering service 
     Investments 2014: $103 million
12. Elastic search: Search and analytics platform critical for monitoring software distribution.  Investments:   $70 million
Sweden (2 investments over 50 million)
13. Klarna: Online payment platform 
   Investments 120 million
14. Truecaller: Digital directory to identify incoming calls with 1.5  billion registered    Investments 2014        78.8 million
15. Momondo: travel metasearch engine
      Investments 2014:    $120 million
16. Tradeshift:  b2b platform with 500,000 companies. It provides sales support 
      Investments 2014:   $75 million
Israel (1 investment over 50 million)
17. Ironsource: Platform for distribution and monetization for  apps ( $ 85 million )
18. Scytl: Platform for online voting and elections ( $104 million)
19. Ozon: eCommerce site ($150 million)
20. Blablacar: Carpooling platform ($100 million)
In short, for 2014 we saw an important number of startups that received financing superior to 50 million dollars, attracting American venture capital, and that can compete at a global level.

This is a very important step forward.

In 2015, we will see many more MegaRounds (over $50 million dollars) in Europe thanks to the ever-stronger involvement of big investment banks and big private equity funds (like Goldman Sachs and KKR), which have enormous investment capacities. A sign that both the European continent as well as the startup sector is becoming increasingly more attractive for investors.
Paolo Cellini
He has worked as: Vice-President Strategy and Business Development, Internet Division EMEA, Walt Disney (London);
 Director of Business Development EMEA and Country Manager Italy, Interactive Games Division, Walt Disney (Paris);
 CEO of an AOL startup (Tel Aviv);
 CEO  Consodata (Rome);
 CEO Buffetti (Rome); Sales Director small-medium sized businesses and Internet Division Director at Seat Pagine Gialle (Turin).
 He was Venture Partner in 4 Venture Capital funds: Club d’Investissement Media (Paris), 21nextwork (Milan), Innogest (Turin), LVenture (Rome). 
Professor of New Media at l’Ecole Supérieure des Télécommunications (Paris); Strategic Marketing; Services Marketing; Internet Economics at LUISS Guido Carli (Rome).