Balderton closes $305m venture fund

The UK-based VC, whose past successes include Betfair and MySQL, will invest in European tech start-ups.

Balderton Capital has closed its fifth fund with commitments of $305 million, highlighting the improvement in limited partner sentiment towards European venture capital.

In a statement Monday, the UK-based venture firm said the new fund was raised principally from existing limited partners, although it also brought in the European Investment Fund as a new investor.

The new vehicle will look to back “high potential” European technology start-ups, the firm said. Its previous funds have made both Series A and later-stage investments, but Balderton said this fund would focus primarily on the earlier stage businesses, “where we currently see the greatest opportunities in Europe”. It will look for situations where it can be the first international venture fund to back a new business, it added.

Balderton has recently been working to boost its operational expertise by hiring a number of successful entrepreneurs, including Suranga Chandratillake, the founder of video advertising company blinkx, and Bernard Liautaud, founder of software company Business Objectives.

Liautaud said today that the firm’s pipeline was strong, with “close to 10,000 businesses reaching out to us last year, and an increasing quality of entrepreneurs entering the technology sector”.

Balderton was founded in 2000 as Benchmark Capital before rebranding in 2007. It has since amassed over $2.2 billion in venture funds. The firm said Monday that the total value of all the companies it has backed is now over $10 billion, with notable successes including companies like Betfair, LoveFilm and MySQL.

Its current investments include Housetrip, Wonga and GoCardless. Balderton closed 20 new deals in 2013.