European tech companies raised €7.9 billion across 1460 deals in 2014, according to data published this week by Dow Jones VentureSource.
While there were 11 percent fewer deals between venture capitalists and tech companies in 2014, the amount raised by European tech firms was still 25 percent higher than in 2013, helped in part by large investments in companies like British firm Huddle, who secured £32 million in December for its enterprise collaboration platform.
But investment in European tech firms could be about to surge even more after venture capitalists secured an extra €927 million of investment money during the last quarter of 2014, an increase of 33 percent on the amount raised in the third quarter. Notable pots include Singapore-based Infocomm's €158 million fund and Norway’s Northzone Ventures €100 million fund.
Several European companies decided they had grown big enough to list on public stock markets last year.
In the final quarter of the 2014, there were 10 European tech IPOs worth a total of €2.3 billion, more than six times the figure seen over the same period in 2013 and the highest sum since the second quarter of 2000, when 71 IPOs raised a total of €3.8 billion.
The largest European VC-backed IPO of 2014 was Rocket Internet AG’s October listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company raised a total of €1.4 billion, accounting for 62% of the total amount raised through European venture-backed company IPOs for the quarter.
But not every startup will take the IPO route. Indeed, some find it hard to say no to lucrative acquisition offers such as those made by Silicon Valley predators like Google and Facebook.
A separate report out today from analyst house 451 Research predicts that the number of mergers and acquisitions will soar in 2015.
“2015 appears likely to continue the deal-making momentum we experienced in 2014, which was the highest level of tech M&A spending since the Dot Com collapse,” said Brenon Daly, research director at 451 Research for M&A.
“Tech investment bankers have told us that their pipelines are fuller than they've been in years, while corporate development executives indicated they expect to be even busier shopping this year.”