VC funding into Europe (including the U.K.) was up in the first quarter of 2022, CB Insights and Crunchbase data show. In other words, the region escaped the global quarter-on-quarter slowdown in startup investment.
But Europe isn’t the only place where VC funding didn’t decline. As we noted earlier this week, this was also the case in Africa – unlike the U.S., Asia, and Latin America. But Europe’s situation is perhaps more curious; after all, it is the closest to Russia and its war on Ukraine.
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It is also worth noting that Europe accounts for a much larger portion of global funding than Africa. As we reported, African startups only accounted for a 2% deal share last quarter, while their European counterparts typically account for one-fifth of global activity, both in terms of funding and deal volume. Q1 2022 was no different in that regard.
Do the quarterly numbers perhaps simply reflect activity that peaked in January, or even at the very tail end of 2021, when announcements were delayed by the holiday break? It is certainly a possibility. For instance, several “French Tech” mega-rounds were announced in the first days of the year.
However, there are also more recent signs of optimism that contrast with the general climate in the U.S. and Latin American startup scenes. Just yesterday, we heard rumors that Spotify competitor Deezer could go public via a SPAC. Ill-advised in the current IPO freeze and unicorn stampede? Maybe not.
According to Billboard, “there may be no better time for the streamer’s investors to cash out.” And while this also refers to the company’s specific circumstances, it shows that exit worries are still somewhat back of mind – thanks in part to Q1’s unexpected resilience.
European startups attracted $26.8 billion in funding during the first quarter of 2022, according to CB Insights’ State of Venture report. That’s a 20% quarter-on-quarter increase, and 33% more than the same quarter of 2021.
Per the same dataset, here’s how deal and dollar volume evolved in some key countries between Q4 2021 and Q1 2022:
U.K.: $9.2 billion across 538 deals, up 33% and 9% from Q4 2021, respectively
France: $4.8 billion across 264 deals, up 85% and 6%
Germany: $2.9 billion across 216 deals, down 52% and 1%
Netherlands: $891 million across 85 deals up 6% and down 11%
Sweden: $775 million across 94 deals, up 5% and down 19%