Analysis

December 28, 2022

Which international investors were most active in Europe in 2022?

Which international funds have poured the most into European startups this year?


Tim Smith

3 min read

Luciana Lixandru, partner at Sequoia

2022 wasn’t 2021 — but it was still the second biggest year on record for interest in European startups from outside the continent. 

International funds poured $22.6bn into European startups in 2022, according to data from Dealroom (up until December 19), compared to $36.2bn in 2021 — and just $14.9bn in 2020.

The most significant reason for this drop was a big reduction in the number of “megarounds” being inked by international backers (rounds of $250m or more), which contributed $11.5bn to total outside investment in 2021, and just $5.5bn in 2022.

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Investment volumes from global funds at earlier stages were more resilient, seeing far smaller dropoffs. This distinction isn’t a big surprise, given that investors are becoming particularly wary of making big bets on later-stage companies, due to the crash of tech stocks on the public markets.

So, which were the global funds making the most investments into European startups this year? Sifted analysed the data to bring you the top 10 (we did not include accelerators like Antler and Techstars, which have teams across several regions).

1/ Sequoia 

HQ: San Francisco, US

Fund focus: Multi-stage generalist fund.

Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 18 (including Estonian Uber rival Bolt and legal startup Fides)

Sequoia, which opened a London office in 2020, launched an accelerator programme in Europe for seed-stage companies this year. It’s also been building its London-based team, which now includes five partners. 

2/ SOSV

HQ: Princeton, US

Fund focus: Multi-stage fund investing in deeptech and “cross-border markets”, particularly in Asia.

Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 15

3/ Y Combinator

HQ: San Francisco, US

Fund focus: World-famous accelerator investing $500k in early-stage startups twice a year, with alumni including Reddit, Airbnb and Stripe.

Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 14

Y Combinator was one of just two accelerators investing in European startups that multiple top-tier VCs told us they rate. 

=4/ Leading Cities

HQ: Boston, US

Fund focus: Accelerator that funds and incubates startups in government, regulation and smart city tech.

Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 10

=4/ Insight Partners

HQ: New York City, US

Fund Focus: Growth-stage fund investing in software companies.

Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 10

4=/ Animoca Brands

HQ: Hong Kong

Fund Focus: Metaverse-focused fund created off the back of breakout success blockchain game Axie Infinity.

Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 10

7/ GSD Venture Studios

HQ: San Francisco, US

Fund Focus: Sector agnostic accelerator backing companies with global expansion plans.

Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 9

8/ Shima Capital

HQ: San Francisco, US

Fund Focus: Early-stage fund backing crypto and blockchain startups.

Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 8

9/ Tencent

HQ: Shenzhen, China

Fund Focus: The largest video game company in the world, which has invested in more than 800 gaming companies globally.

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Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 8 (including restaurant ordering software Flipdish)

10/ Global Emerging Markets

HQ: New York, US

Fund Focus: Fund investing across private equity and venture, mostly in emerging markets.

Number of investments into European startups in 2022: 8

Tim Smith

Tim Smith is a senior reporter at Sifted. He covers deeptech and all things taboo, and produces Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast . Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn