Private equity and venture capital fundraising in Europe in 2020 hit €100.5 billion ($123.4 billion), down 12.2% vs. 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A report by Invest Europe, a trade association that represents Europe's private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, showed Thursday that although fundraising fell from 2019's record high of €114.5 billion and was lower than the €103 billion raised in 2018, the 2020 figures were still higher than results recorded for most of the last decade.
"Private equity is a long-term asset class. That is what makes it so resilient and such an important cornerstone of the European economy and society. Private equity is already investing significantly in the recovery, providing investment and support that will help companies — and their employees — rebound, adapt and prosper as Europe emerges from the crisis," Eric de Montgolfier, CEO, Invest Europe, said in the report.
Buyout fundraising reached €62 billion in 2020, down 23.4% from 2019 — the highest year ever recorded at €80.9 billion. There were 125 funds raising capital in 2020 compared with 134 funds in 2019.
Invest Europe also said that a record number of 288 venture capital funds attracted €15.5 billion in commitments in 2020, down 7% from 2019. There were 279 funds a year earlier.
Fundraising by growth funds reached €15.4 billion, up from €10.9 a year earlier, while mezzanine and generalist funds raised €300 million and €7 billion, respectively. In 2019, mezzanine and generalist funds raised €400 million and €5.5 billion, respectively.
Private equity and venture capital funds invested €88 billion in European companies in the twelve months ended Dec. 31. European companies received about €100 billion in 2019.
The report is available for download on the Invest Europe website.