Earlybird falls short on fourth fund

The German venture capital firm has had a tough time raising commitments for its third fund. After two years of marketing it has closed Earlybird IV below its €200m target, but the firm remains upbeat about prospects for European venture capital.

Earlybird Venture Capital, the German and US early-stage investor, has closed its latest fund on €127 million ($189 million). The firm began marketing the fund in 2006 with a target of €200 million.
 
Investors from Germany, the US, Asia and the Middle East committed to the new fund, including Japanese gas company Osaka Gas, and the European Investment Fund.
 
Founder and managing partner, Rolf Mathies, was upbeat about the fundraising.
 
“The process took longer than we expected, despite LPs being very positive about our track record,” he told PEO, “We are very confident that the next three years will be much better for fundraising. European venture is going through a renaissance.”  

Rolf Mathies

 
Earlybird has already made seven investments from the new fund, drawing down around €25 million. Earlybird IV is the firm’s third fund, as the first two funds were run in parallel.
 
The firm typically invests between €5 million and €30 million in European companies looking to expand globally in the communications, healthcare and technology sectors.
 
Earlybird’s two previous funds closed on approximately $60 million in 1998 and $240 million in 2000.
 
The firm is expected to start fundraising for its next fund in mid-2009.