Europe venture capital headed toward record year

European venture capital was slow to recover from the euro-zone financial crisis in the early years of this decade, but in 2018 it’s now poised to set records in both money raised and capital disbursed.

And in contrast to investment activity in the U.S. and Asia, the recovery is driven less by a small number of massive rounds and more by a wider distribution of investment interest.

As of July, about $12.7 billion has gone to 1,403 deals across the Continent, activity on a pace to top 2017’s record $18.4 billion, Preqin reports. Last year saw 2,354 deals funded.

Source: Preqin.

At the same time, capital flowing into VC and growth funds topped $12.7 billion as of July, putting that figure on course to pass the $13.8 billion of 2017 and $17.3 billion of 2016, Preqin said. Fifty-four funds have collected commitments this year.

The U.K. accounted for slightly more than a third of deal value this year, despite the nation’s chaotic Brexit negotiations. German dealmaking is about 18 percent of the Continent’s total.

The largest fund raised this year is Inflexion Partnership Capital II, which attracted about $1.2 billion.

As to venture exits, 95 have taken place so far this year, with nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of them trade sales to corporate acquirers, Preqin said. Exit value came to about $12.7 billion.