European Venture Fundraising On Track For A Boost In 2011; 89 Funds In Market

A total of 89 European-focused venture capital funds are raising capital this year, well more than double the number of funds that closed on new money last year, according to a study.

The news suggests an uptick of investment interest and perhaps confidence. It also foreshadows an improvement in fund formation.

The 89 funds hope to raise $13.8 billion, according to the research firm Preqin. Last year, 34 European-focused venture funds closed on $5.8 billion, Preqin found.

Almost half of the funds raising money have had at least one interim close, with commitments so far totaling $6.5 billion, according to the study. More than half of the funds are growth funds, while 13% are early stage and the remaining are stage agnostic.

The largest fund seeking money is AF Eigenkapitalfonds Für Deutschen Mittelstand, which is targeting $705 million and expects to provide capital to 15 to 20 companies in Germany.

The second largest fund is Englefield Capital Fund III. It is seeking $564 million of growth capital for investments in Northwest Europe.

The largest fund to raise money last year was the $1.7 billion 3i Growth Capital Fund, which makes investments across Europe as well as in Asia and North America.