EQT Ventures has closed its second fund, EQT Ventures II, at €660 million, with the plan to support ambitious European companies scale out of the continent and also to help US founders scale in. Bridging Europe and the US, the Swedish firm will use its proprietary AI system Motherbrain to identify nascent success and make investments accordingly.
As with its first fund, EQT Ventures will invest early, typically Series A or B, with European startups and a bit later, Series B or C, with American companies who are looking to expand into Europe. It’s worth noting, though, that the firm uses the verb “partner” rather than “invest,” as it sees its work with portfolio companies as much more than providing capital. Operational support and advice are offered through different stages of growth, covering product, marketing and communications, engineering, analytics, UX, international expansion, sales, partnerships, and finance.
The selection process is powered by Motherbrain, which is run like a startup within EQT and garnered its own dedicated team in 2016. The system processes data about millions of companies every day, feeding the firm insight and informing decisions at every step of the investment funnel. Five EQT Ventures’ portfolio companies have been sourced by Motherbrain so far: Peakon, Handshake, AnyDesk, Warducks, and Standard Cognition.
Hjalmar Winbladh, Partner and Investment Advisor to the EQT Ventures funds, said: “Building a global success story is tough and requires more than just capital. It requires grit, ambition, teamwork and support from people who’ve experienced the start-up journey firsthand. This is where the EQT Ventures team can help and, with a large multi-stage fund, we can support and coach entrepreneurs on their journeys for longer so they can scale and deliver long-term, sustainable growth. Europe has never lacked ambition, talent or innovation but compared with the US, European start-ups have often struggled to access the capital they needed to grow from bright ideas into proven businesses. With this fund, EQT Ventures wants to continue to help close this funding gap and the fund’s size is clear evidence of the growing confidence in European tech, which is punching above its weight. The EQT Ventures team is looking forward to partnering with the boldest founders in Europe and the US, determined to build global winners.”
EQT and its second fund both have global ties. In addition to its Stockholm headquarters, the firm has offices in London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, and Berlin. The new fund is backed by a global blue-chip investor base consisting of pension funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, foundations, family offices, and others, based in Europe, the US, and Asia.