VCs poured capital into European startups in Q3, but early-stage dealmaking appeared to suffer

The global recovery in venture capital activity did not miss Europe, new data indicates.

According to a PitchBook report, European venture capital activity rose in Q3 2020, putting the continent on pace to set a new yearly record for aggregate VC activity (as measured in Euros).

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The strong results come in the wake of a cracking quarter for venture capital activity in the United States and a generally bullish period for the global VC market. Venture debt is also seeing something of a rebound from lulls seen earlier in the year.

Inside Europe’s Q3 however, was some less-than-good news: The amount of money that went to first-financings was weak, and much of the strong results from the continent were predicated on capital flowing into already-funded startups. There’s less pie for new companies than the top-line numbers might suggest.

Let’s get into the good and bad from Europe’s quarter, contrasting our new data with some prior numbers that we saw when looking into aggregate VC data from Q3.

We’re wrapping up our look at the post-summer venture rebound today, but there’s just a bit more we need to learn before we move on. Let’s get into it.

Europe’s third quarter

Starting with the good news: PitchBook reports that total European venture capital activity came to €10.6 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Per the financial and business data group, it was the third time in history that European venture capital activity crossed the €10 billion mark. (For the sake of comparison, United States-based startups raised around $37 billion, or about €31.5 billion, during the same period.)

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