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Investment data analysis


2018 Key Findings

Reports on levels of private equity and venture capital investment into European companies, including splits by stage focus, syndication and sectors. Investments are shown by the location of the investment firm (Industry Statistics) and the location of the portfolio company (Market Statistics).

Total equity amount invested

The total equity amount invested in European companies increased by 7% year-on-year to €80.6bn in 2018, the highest level recorded to date. The number of companies receiving investment also achieved a new record, increasing by 7% to over 7,800, 86% of which were SMEs.

Buyout investment

Buyout investment increased by 10% year-on-year to €58.8bn, while the number of companies backed in buyout transactions rose by 3% to 1,285. Larger transactions of more than €150m in equity surpassed the previous year by 14% at €31.4bn, representing a 53% share of the buyout market in 2018. Mid-market buyouts (€15m-€150m in equity) increased by 8% to €23.1bn, taking a 39% market share. By sector, business products and services received 26% of total buyout investment, followed by consumer goods and services (20%), ICT (15%) and biotech and healthcare (14%).

Venture capital investment

Venture capital investment surpassed the 2017 record by 13%, reaching a new high of €8.2bn in 2018. The number of companies backed by venture funds increased 12% to over 4,400. Start-up investments rose by 29% to €4.9bn, with 2,475 companies backed, a 6% increase. Seed investments declined by 7% to €721m, but by number of companies increased 22% to 1,350. Later-stage investments reduced by 3% to € 2.6bn, but increased 8% by number of companies to 758. ICT was the largest sector for venture investment, receiving 47% of the total, followed by biotech and healthcare (28%) and consumer goods and services (9%).

Growth capital investments

Growth capital investments remained at a record level of €11.9bn, with 2,106 companies financed. Venture-backed companies secured around 18% of the growth investment amount to enable them to scale-up their activities. European companies operating in the ICT sector received one third of the investment amount, followed by consumer goods and services (21%), business products and services (18%) and biotech and healthcare (9%).

2018 investments at a glance

2018 - Market statistics All private equity Venture capital(1) Buyout(1) Growth(1)
Amount €80.6bn €8.2bn €58.8bn €11.9bn
No. of companies 7,816 4,437 1,285 2,106
No. of firms 1,392 855 498 476
No. of funds 2,718 1,506 793 1,053

Source: Invest Europe/EDC

Note: (1) relates to the investment stage of the portfolio company

In this section
Meet the team


Julien Krantz Image

Julien Krantz


Research Director

Daniel Irwin-Brown Image

Daniel Irwin-Brown


Research Manager

Ariane Mortelmans Image

Ariane Mortelmans


Research Officer


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