LPs keep faith in Benchmark Europe

The European arm of international venture capitalist Benchmark Capital has capped its second European fund at $375 million.

Benchmark Capital, the global early stage technology venture investor headquartered in Silicon Valley, has announced the closing of its second fund dedicated exclusively to Europe with commitments of $375 million (€306 million).

Benchmark Europe II is the successor to the firm’s first European fund, which closed in May 2000 on $500 million.

Commenting on the size of the new fund, general partner Barry Maloney said in an interview with PrivateEquityOnline: “Although we had demand to raise in excess of our original fund, we wanted to raise a fund that we could invest in three years. We decided that the new fund size is right for the current size of the European market.”

The new fund, like its predecessor, will concentrate on technology investments across Europe. According to Maloney, it will not have a specific sector focus, but is likely to follow a similar investment strategy to the first fund and invest in e-commerce, application and enterprise software, semiconductors and mobile commuting among other areas.

Maloney said that there were “a small number of new investors” in the second fund, but that most of the investors in the original fund had subscribed again, despite the fact that there have been no exits to date from Benchmark Europe I. He declined to reveal the names of any investors, describing them as “typically high quality endowments, predominantly US-based, with a long-term view of the European market.”

The first fund has made over 25 technology investments in a variety of sectors and geographies. Maloney said that the firm would look to make “two or three final deals by the end of October” from Fund I before beginning to invest the new fund.

In January, the firm’s European office was strengthened by the arrival of Swedish entrepreneur Johan Brenner, former founder and chairman of TIME Vision. That appointment brought the number of partners in the London office to five.

Founded in 1995, Benchmark manages more than $2 billion in committed capital and has offices in Menlo Park, California, London and Tel Aviv.