Private equity and venture capital fundraising in Europe for the first six months of 2018 hit €45.6 billion ($52.9 billion), up 40% vs. the second half of 2017, Invest Europe said.
Data from the trade association, which represents Europe's private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, show this is the third-highest six-month period of fundraising since 2007.
For the six months ended Dec. 31, fundraising hit about €33 billion, and for the six months ended June 30, 2017, fundraising was about €59 billion — the highest amount according to available Invest Europe data. The second-highest amount was about €50 billion in the first six months of 2007.
"Demand is high for European private equity and venture capital, and it continues to thrive with healthy levels of fundraising and investment in the first half of the year," said Michael Collins, CEO at Invest Europe, in a news release. "The venture capital market in Europe has never been better."
Invest Europe also said venture capital funds attracted €3.1 billion in commitments in the first half of the year, with almost €11 billion raised in new funding for startup firms in Europe since the start of 2017. For the six months ended Dec. 31, fundraising in venture capital funds was also €3.1 billion, and for the first half of 2017 was €4.6 billion.
Further, European companies received €30.5 billion from private equity and venture capital funds in the six months ended June 30, which Invest Europe said was above the five-year average. According to Pensions & Investments calculations using Invest Europe data, the average investment for a six-month period over the five years 2013 to 2017 inclusive was €26.8 billion.
In the previous six-month period, European companies received about €36 billion in investments; and in the six months ended June 30, 2017, received €35 billion.