Venturewire notes that median funding levels for European VC have reached 6 year highs. Surprisingly, the growth has been in seed and early stage venture investments- a startling result given the general lack of appetite for risk on this side of the pond.
Growth in deal size was attributable largely to increased commitments in early-stage, or seed and first round, deals. While total investment rounds in early-stage companies during the first quarter of this year fell to 71 companies from 77 compared to the year earlier period, the amount invested in seed and first round deals grew some 40% to EUR322.4 million from EUR223.2 million.
Meanwhile late stage rounds actually shrank during the quarter, to EUR454 million from EUR486 million in the year earlier period, the lowest late stage amount raised since the second quarter of 2005.
The increased attention paid to early-stage companies may be a result of growing assurance of an IPO exit. European VC-backed IPOs crested in the last quarter of 2005, with a total of roughly EUR2 billion raised from such offerings. That was the highest total raised from European venture-backed IPOs since the last quarter of 2000.