“Today, the EQT Ventures team is thrilled to announce EQT Ventures II. With commitments totaling €660m, EQT Ventures II is one of the largest VC funds ever raised in Europe. This marks the next chapter in EQT Ventures’ story and our teams across Europe and the US are looking forward to working with the most ambitious founders and helping them to develop the next wave of global success stories.
Building on the multi-stage, sector-agnostic strategy of EQT Ventures’ inaugural fund, the team will carry on partnering early on with European entrepreneurs (typically at Series A and B) and at a later stage with US founders (typically at Series B and C), looking to scale into Europe. The size of EQT Ventures II and the fact it attracted new and existing investors worldwide is a major vote of confidence for European tech and talent. And, just 3.5 years since EQT Ventures opened for business, our approach to doing VC differently is already yielding results. So, before looking ahead, let’s take a step back and recap what we set out to achieve with the launch of EQT Ventures.
EQT Ventures was designed to be the kind of VC we would have wanted on our own startup journeys — when we founded and scaed King, Spotify, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Huddle, and Lithium to name but a few. Rather than provide just capital, our full-service team of experts in everything from design, marketing, data science, software engineering, talent, sales and scaling are all on hand to help supercharge the performance and growth of the companies we partner with. Building a global success story takes more than just money. It takes a whole ecosystem of expertise and support from people who’ve done it before, made plenty of mistakes along the way and learnt from them.
The EQT Ventures team’s close collaboration with our portfolio helped bring in an early exit for the fund — just 2.5 years after launch — when Small Giant Games was acquired by Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) in a deal valued at $700m. Working closely with the EQT Ventures team from the $5.7m Series A in March 2017 onwards was key in helping this small team achieve giant things. Having led the development of the gaming phenomenon Candy Crush Saga as King’s VP of Mobile, Lars Jörnow, in particular, was able to share his learnings with the Small Giant Games team and help drive the company’s growth. And don’t just take our word for it. As Timo Soininen, founder and CEO of Small Giant Games, put it himself:
“Kudos to EQT Ventures and Lars Jörnow. Our journey quite simply wouldn’t have been possible without your support and deep competence in building and running games as a business. You guys set the benchmark for all VC’s out there.”
With technology transforming all industries, the EQT Ventures team also set out to disrupt VC by creating Motherbrain — an in-house developed artificial intelligence system. Motherbrain enables us to deploy a data-driven approach across the entire investment process. Tracking more than eight million companies and 40,000 VCs, Motherbrain allows the EQT Ventures team to assess companies faster, improve assessment accuracy and spend more time with the right founders at the right time. Integrated along all steps of the investment funnel, Motherbrain has flagged five of our portfolio companies so far — Peakon, Handshake, AnyDesk, WarDucks and Standard Cognition. With its own dedicated team managed as a startup within EQT, Motherbrain will remain central to the second fund’s strategy.
Compared with the US, European startups have often struggled to access the capital needed to grow from bright ideas into global successes. EQT Ventures was set up to help close this funding gap and bridge both sides of the Atlantic. With a team on the ground in San Francisco led by partner Alastair Mitchell, we’re well-positioned to support European companies expanding into the US — such as our portfolio companies 3D Hubs, Varjo, Natural Cycles, Permutive, Codacy, Peakon and Tinyclues. With hubs in Stockholm, London, Berlin and Amsterdam, our team’s in-depth knowledge of Europe makes EQT Ventures the ideal partner for later stage US companies looking to scale internationally. In the last year alone, we’re delighted to have welcomed US companies Handshake, Standard Cognition, Darkstore, and Headspin to our portfolio
As EQT Ventures starts its next chapter, we’d like to thank all the incredible companies in our portfolio who are sharing their entrepreneurial journeys with us. We’re looking forward to investing in and partnering with more bold and ambitious founders across Europe and the US who are set on defining the next decade.
The EQT Ventures team”