European funding rounds are getting bigger, but how do they stack up against the mega-rounds in the US and Asia?

funding rounds

Yesterday we published our analysis of Europe’s 20 largest funding rounds from the first half of 2015.

On the surface, it looks like European technology companies are gradually starting to raise bigger rounds, with two rounds at $500 million or above, thirteen $100 million+ deals already (compared to twelve in the whole of 2014) and an average of $170 million of the 20 largest deals compared to 2014’s $138 million.

This was demonstrated in particular by companies like Spotify, OneWeb, Delivery Hero, HelloFresh Foodpanda, along with fintech high-fliers such as Kreditech, Funding Circle and WorldRemit.

However, before we get too carried away with the maturation of the investment scene in Europe and how European companies are now able to attract these larger funding rounds, it’s worth having a look at how these compare to the largest rounds in the US and Asia in the first half of 2015. Let’s start with the United States:

Immediately, you can see that Europe’s big rounds significantly pale in comparison to the US’ mega-rounds, as the 20th largest round raised in the States in H1 2015 is the same size as the 5th largest in Europe during the same period (data: Mattermark).

And as for $500 million rounds, not only do have four times as many as Europe, they also had three companies raise more than $1 billion in H1 2015. And whereas all of the US’ 20 largest rounds sit at $200 million and above, Europe possessed just five, with thirteen above $100 million.

Now let’s have a look at the data for Asia:

It’s a similar story in comparison to Asia, with their 20th largest round comparing to Europe’s 6th placed biggest round. Just like the United States, Asia also had three companies raising $1 billion and above, compared to none in Europe, and they saw nine companies raise $500 million+ rounds, towering over Europe’s two. This gap between Europe and Asia and the US when it comes to the larger rounds is best demonstrated by the averages of the twenty biggest rounds in each region (still in H1 2015):

On the plus side, Europe’s top 20 average has increased from $138 million in 2014 to $170 million in the first half of 2015, which is certainly a positive sign, as a growth rate of 23.19% is nothing to be sniffed at. And although the U.S’ average from 2014 is growing at double that pace, Europe actually comes in ahead of Asia (However it should be noted that Asia had a particularly spectacular 2014 for big rounds, with their 20 biggest rounds larger than the ones in the US).

In conclusion, the European investment scene is showing signs of maturity when compared to 2014 and previous years. Bigger checks are clearly more readily available than was once the case, and late-stage and mega-rounds are increasingly happening. However, compared to the US and Asia, Europe clearly still has a long way to go before it can compete when it comes to the really big investment rounds.

Please note: If a company raised two (or more) rounds in the first half of 2015, I added them up and considered them to be one round due to the small amount of time between them. Although perhaps not technically correct, I did this for Europe, Asia and the US to ensure consistency.

All data on the US and Asia was sourced from Mattermark and all European data was sourced from’s own proprietary dataset.

Featured image credit: mj007 / Shutterstock

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