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Highland Europe's new VC fund to invest in growth stage startups

posted onJuly 4, 2018

Highland Europe, a VC firm that invests in European internet, mobile, and software companies, has raised a €463 million ($540 million) fund, to back Europe’s most exceptional growth-stage startups. The new fund, Highland Europe's third in six years, was raised in just 12 weeks and takes the firm’s assets under management to €1.1bn.

As of today, the firm has 29 active companies in its portfolio, with combined revenues of €1.1bn in 2017. These companies, employ over 6,500 people and are mostly based in Germany, the UK, and France, as well as Finland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the US.

“We’re excited to have extra firepower to continue investing in the most exciting tech businesses in Europe,” said Highland Europe Partner and Co-Founder Fergal Mullen, commenting on the raise. “At the same time, we’re consciously staying nimble and remain focused on helping the entrepreneurs we back scale-up internationally and achieve their ambitions.”

Strategically the firm will continue to focus on rapidly growing software and internet-enabled companies that have reached sufficient scale to confirm the validity of their business model. 

“Helping founders and management teams achieve their full potential is the single most important thing that we do,” Mullen. said  “When evaluating teams, our scorecard prioritises excellent interpersonal relationships because we know from decades of experience that a positive frame of mind and constructive approach always deliver a better outcome.”

highland europe team

Active in Europe since 2003 as Highland Capital Partners and formally launched in 2012, Highland Europe, has invested in companies such as Adjust, Bitmovin, ContentSquare, Featurespace, GetYourGuide, Malwarebytes, NewVoiceMedia, Nexthink, and WeTransfer. Highland’s collective history of investments across the US, Europe and China includes 46 IPOs and 19 billion-dollar plus companies. 

Over the last 18 months, Highland Europe has sold stakes in the leading luxury fashion retailer, game developer SocialPoint and waste industry software provider AMCS Group, generating more than €2.4bn worth of enterprise value. 

Highland Europe is headquartered in London with additional office in Geneva, Switzerland. Its platform includes a team of 12 investment professionals, a network of Executive and Board advisors as well as strategic partnerships with industry-leading service providers. 

Until the formation of Highland Europe, Mullen was a General Partner with Highland Capital Partners. He launched the firm's Europe investment program. Fergal attended Harvard Business School, where he earned his M.B.A. He also holds a B.S., Electrical Engineering, and a B.A., Business Economics from Brown University. 

So far this year, Europe Highland's vehicle raised the most amount of capital of all VC funds in Europe, per the PitchBook Platform. Its nearest competitor is Andera Partners' €345 million effort, which closed in February.