Record fundraising in 2022 as long-term investors step up support for European private equity and venture capital

Invest Europe, the association representing Europe’s private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, as well as their investors, today published ‘Investing in Europe: Private Equity Activity 2022’ – the most comprehensive and authoritative source of fundraising, investment, & divestment data, covering over 1,750 firms. The report shows a new high level of commitment from long-term investors seeking strong returns to support European pensions and savings.

  • A total of 801 European private equity, venture capital, and growth funds raised €170 billion in 2022, 30% above the previous record of €131 billion achieved in 2021. Venture capital funds raised a record €23 billion, while buyout funds achieved a new high of €111 billion, and growth funds had their second-best year with €21 billion raised.
  • Investment hit €130 billion in 2022, a decline on 2021’s peak, yet 30% above the average of the past five years, underlining the step-change in private capital investment taking place across Europe.

Record fundraising in 2022 was driven by long-term investors, led by pension funds which committed 27% of the total. They were followed by sovereign wealth funds which significantly stepped up investment, achieving 15% of the total, and funds of funds – a conduit for smaller pension funds to invest in private equity and venture capital – accounting for 11% of the total. Alongside insurers, these long-term institutional investors supplied almost two-thirds of all capital raised in 2022. The data also highlights the appeal of Europe to international investors looking to back world-class companies and ground-breaking innovations. Capital from North America reached 24% of total fundraising – over €41 billion – while commitments from Australia and Asia also reached 22% of the total. Over 50% of fundraising came from domestic and cross-border investors within Europe.

Eric de Montgolfier, CEO of Invest Europe, commented:

  • “After reaching the high-water mark for investment in 2021, the European private equity and venture capital industry continues to reach new heights. Strong support from both inside and outside Europe demonstrates the confidence that long-term investors are placing in managers to deliver returns that can grow the pensions and savings of citizens globally.”
  • “Rather than sitting on the sidelines, this capital – along with operational expertise – is going into European companies to transform mature businesses and get start-ups and growing SMEs off the ground.”

The €130 billion invested by European private equity and venture capital in 2022, marks the second-highest year for investment with over 9,000 companies backed, helping drive innovation, job creation, growth, and the transition to a greener and more sustainable economy across the continent. Funds invested over €43 billion in Information Communications Technology, making it by far the largest sector by equity invested and number of companies backed. It was followed by Consumer Goods & Services, which accounted for 16% of all companies, and Biotech & Healthcare for 15%.

Growth investment reached €29 billion and venture capital investment exceeded €18 billion in 2022, both by far the second highest levels ever recorded, as funds were mainly targeted at SMEs, which are the engine of growth and the backbone of Europe’s economy. Buyout investments in mature companies exceeded €80 billion, with mega-cap (>€300m) investments comprising equity contributions of more than €41 billion.

Invest Europe’s ‘Investing in Europe: Private Equity Activity 2022’ is part of a comprehensive library of data and reports, including ‘Private Equity at Work’ and ‘ESG KPI report: Managing what you measure’ that transparently documents the industry’s track record not only in terms of financial performance, but also its social and economic contribution to Europe.

Download the full report here.

About Invest Europe
Invest Europe is the association representing Europe’s private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, as well as their investors. We have over 650 members, split roughly equally between private equity, venture capital and limited partners – with some 110 associate members representing advisers to our ecosystem. Those members are based in 57 countries, including 42 in Europe, and manage 70% of the European private equity and venture capital industry’s €846 billion of assets under management. Businesses with private capital investment employ 10.5 million people across Europe, 4.5% of the region’s workforce.

€170 billion raised for European investments in 2022, up 30% on 2021’s prior record and €130 billion invested across Europe, second-highest level ever achieved. Download the report covering over 1,750 firms and 94% of the €846bn in capital under management in Europe (as of end-2021).