Fundraising

Top 10 Early Stage VC Firms in Europe

Written by

Enrico Tan

Published on

February 5, 2024
Pitch for top 10 early stage VC firms in Europe
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Europe is home to a vibrant and diverse startup ecosystem, with many innovative and ambitious founders looking for funding and support to grow their businesses. But who are the best early stage venture capital firms to partner with in Europe? Here is a list of top 10 early stage VC firms that have a proven track record of backing some of the most successful and disruptive startups in the continent.

Earlybird

Earlybird is a venture capital firm that invests in early and growth-stage technology companies across Europe. Founded in 1997, Earlybird has four dedicated and specialized teams, focusing on different geographies and sectors. The Digital West Fund focuses primarily on early stage digital technology opportunities in GSA, Nordics, UK, Benelux, France and Southern Europe, while the Digital East Fund is focused on early stage ICT investment opportunities in Eastern Europe and Turkey, being the leading tech VC in this region. The Health Fund focuses on early and later stage opportunities in digital health, medical devices, diagnostics, enabling technologies and biopharma across Europe. Earlybird-X backs deep tech innovation, including robotics, AI, and mobility, at the earliest stages – tapping into a network of leading European universities. With EUR 2 billion under management across all fund streams, nine IPOs and 31 trade sales, Earlybird is one of the most established and active venture capital firms in Europe.

Pitchdrive

That's us! Pitchdrive, an early-stage VC firm based in Antwerp, Belgium, invests in various sectors with a focus on B2B software, marketplaces, and consumer goods. Targeting seed-stage startups with high-growth potential, we typically invest €200,000-€500,000 per company. Utilizing a data-driven approach with a scoring system and leveraging a network of experienced entrepreneurs, we offer founders a fast and efficient funding process alongside access to valuable professional connections. Already got your pitch deck ready? Submit it here!

Fuel Ventures

Fuel Ventures is an entrepreneur-led fund that focuses on scalable companies across marketplaces, platforms and software (SaaS). The fund was founded by Mark Pearson, who built his own company and scaled it to a £55m exit. Fuel Ventures offers its portfolio companies not only financial resources but also strategic support plus access to an international network and capital markets. Fuel Ventures has also launched a VCT fund to invest in a more diversified portfolio of tech-enabled businesses, co-investing with its existing EIS funds. Some of the companies backed by Fuel Ventures include Capdesk, ContentCal, and Volt.

Ascension VC

Ascension VC is an early-stage VC built by exited entrepreneurs to back the next generation of tech and impact founders. Ascension VC has a strong focus on diverse and underrepresented founders, as well as startups that address social and environmental challenges. Ascension VC operates several funds, such as the Fair By Design Fund, which invests in companies tackling the poverty premium, the ASCEND SEIS Fund, which backs exceptional UK-based tech entrepreneurs, and the Good Food Fund, which supports healthier and more sustainable food and drink brands. Ascension VC was voted Seed VC of the Year in 2022 by the UK Business Angels Association and has been the most active investor in London over the past decade, according to Beauhurst.

Seedcamp

Seedcamp is a European seed fund that identifies and invests early in founders attacking global markets. Seedcamp has been supporting startups since 2007, providing them with capital, mentorship, and access to a global network of experts and investors. Seedcamp has backed over 400 companies across various sectors, such as fintech, healthtech, consumer, enterprise, and deeptech. Some of the notable successes from the Seedcamp portfolio include Revolut, UiPath, TransferWise, Hopin, and Wise.

Global Founders Capital

Global Founders Capital is a global early-stage investor that empowers gifted entrepreneurs to start category defining ventures. Global Founders Capital was founded by Oliver Samwer and Fabian Siegel, who have been involved in building and investing in some of the most successful internet companies in the world, such as Zalando, Delivery Hero, and Lazada. Global Founders Capital has a team of experienced operators and entrepreneurs who provide hands-on support and guidance to their portfolio companies. Global Founders Capital invests in various sectors, such as e-commerce, fintech, edtech, healthtech, and proptech.

High-Tech Gründerfonds

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a venture capital investor for innovative technologies and business models in Germany. HTGF invests mostly at the seed stage, providing startups with up to €3 million in funding, as well as strategic and operational support. HTGF has a broad portfolio of over 600 companies in the fields of industrial tech, digital tech, life sciences, and chemicals. HTGF has also achieved more than 170 exits, including IPOs and trade sales. HTGF is a public-private partnership that works closely with companies from various industries, as well as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and KfW Capital.

Pitch for top early stage VC firms in Europe

Connect Ventures

Connect Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital firm focused on B2B SaaS and B2B marketplaces in Europe. Connect Ventures was founded in 2012 by Pietro Bezza, Sitar Teli, and Bill Earner, who have a combined experience of over 40 years in investing and building startups. Connect Ventures believes in backing opinionated products that are crafted with love and loved by many. Connect Ventures provides its portfolio companies with capital, expertise, and access to a curated network of founders, operators, and advisors. Some of the companies backed by Connect Ventures include Citymapper, Typeform, Kheiron, and TrueLayer.

Point Nine Capital

Point Nine Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on SaaS, enterprise software, and B2B marketplaces in Europe and beyond. Point Nine Capital was founded in 2011 by Christoph Janz, Pawel Chudzinski, and Michael Hansen, who have been involved in building and investing in some of the most successful SaaS companies in the world, such as Zendesk, Clio, and Contentful. Point Nine Capital has a team of 23 people who have sourced, scaled, and exited multiple businesses together. Point Nine Capital invests mostly at the seed stage, providing startups with up to €3 million in funding, as well as hands-on support and access to a large community of SaaS experts and founders.

10x Founders

10x Founders is a network-driven European early-stage investor backed by over 200 entrepreneurs and angels. 10x Founders was founded in 2019 by Christian Rebernik and Florian Calmbach, who have been serial entrepreneurs and angel investors for over a decade. 10x Founders invests in companies that have exceptional growth potential and substantial returns, across various sectors such as consumer, e-commerce, fintech, and deeptech. 10x Founders provides its portfolio companies with capital, expertise, and connections to its network of successful founders and investors. Some of the companies backed by 10x Founders include Delivery Hero, Revolut, Trivago, and Slack.

Speedinvest

Speedinvest is a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in early-stage European tech startups, with a focus on deep tech, fintech, healthtech, climate tech, marketplaces, and consumer and SaaS. Speedinvest was founded in 2011 by Oliver Holle, Michael Schuster, and Werner Zahnt, who have been entrepreneurs and investors for over 20 years. Speedinvest has a team of 40 experienced investors, as well as a Platform+ operational team that provides portfolio companies with hands-on support in areas such as product, tech, talent, marketing, and PR. Speedinvest has also launched a Growth fund and an Emerging Markets fund to support startups at later stages and in developing regions. Some of the companies backed by Speedinvest include Bitpanda, TIER, TourRadar, and WeFox.

Lots of options on the market! It's all about finding the right fit. Do you feel Pitchdrive is the right fit for your startup? And do you have your pitch ready? Submit it!

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