It has been such a hectic news month that I thought it would be a waste not to put out an edition of Steve’s ITK. It has been a while I know!
Cue a few dozen people unsubscribing as they try to work out why they subscribed to this nonsense in the first place.
Conversely, I’m told that the more sporadic a newsletter is published, the more unsubscribes it entices. And there was me thinking that if you haven’t got anything worth saying, don’t say anything at all.
The last few weeks has seen a plethora of new VC funds being announced, meaning that more venture capital is sloshing around Europe.
First up was Balderton Capital, one of the so-called “big four” early-stage VC firms in London (the others being Accel, Atomico and Index), which has raised a new $400 million fund to continue backing European tech startups at Series A.
In an interview with Balderton Partner Suranga Chandratillake, I pondered whether or not European tech is in a bubble (certainly the sentiment amongst the early-stage VCs I talk to is that things are heated and there will be an inevitable correction at some point - when or how big is perhaps the only thing up for debate). His answer was measured
as always, although Chandratillake did point out that it’s often hard to know if you are in a bubble if you are actually in one.
Bubble or no bubble, according to Atomico’s latest report
on the State of European Tech, European tech startups raised a record $34bn in venture capital funding this year, up 40% from 2018, beating Asia and the U.S., which saw investment decrease.
Of course, not all funding is equal - arguably there are the top tier VCs and then the rest, although I don’t pick favourites and there are some bonafide top tier VCs whose money I wouldn’t take even it was free (of course, there is no such thing as free venture capital).
On that note, another VC-related story I broke this past week was the imminent launch of Lazard’s newly created “Venture and Growth Banking” division
. The idea is that the global investment bank’s new 10-person team - many of which seemed to have bailed from Numis - will match investors with European scale-ups. However, unlike many investment banks, the focus of Lazard Venture and Growth Banking will include Series B and C, perhaps in a bid to win the business of future (hopeful) unicorns early.
Bonus: I heard that the U.K.‘s best City reporter was also onto this one. Bad luck MK, you can’t win them all.
Talking of winners: congratulations to Shona Ghosh at BI, who won tech journalist of the year at the UK tech awards, beating a host of incumbent media and therefore achieving what I failed to do last year! Emily Nicole was also a very worthy runner up this year.