SaaS is the second largest area of investment for VCs in Europe — as more companies look to digitise processes and improve efficiency, investors say demand for SaaS products will only keep growing.
But even this sector isn’t immune to the economic downturn and the slowing of VC activity — Q3 2022 saw a 42% decline in funding for European SaaS startups from the previous quarter ($6.5bn, down from $11.3bn), according to Accel’s 2022 Euroscape report.
Despite the warning signs, plenty of VCs remain bullish about the European SaaS ecosystem. We’ve collected the list of investors that have been the most active in the sector since the beginning of this year.
The data was compiled from Dealroom and checked with the investors; not all investors replied to Sifted’s request to check data.
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 35
Recent SaaS investments: Figures.hr, Strapi, ChapsVision
Notable SaaS investments: Klaxoon, Kyriba, Bioserenity, ContentSquare, Deepki
Last fund: N/A
French sovereign wealth fund Bpifrance is a major investor in French startups. Most of its investments are in French-based companies, with a few investments in other European countries and the US. The majority of its investments are in early-stage companies, but it doesn’t count out investing in companies at later stages.
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 33
Recent SaaS investments: Kry, Fonoa, Personio, Remote, Sylvera
Notable SaaS investments: Personio, Collibra, Elastic, Zendesk, Remote
Last fund: $900m for Series A and B startups, and $2bn for growth-stage companies (July 2021)
What the company says: “There is still a very large opportunity for technology to create a more seamless way of doing business. Today, companies want to be global from day one, and we see many companies in Europe building solutions to enable businesses to operate seamlessly across the world. By building plug-and-play, one-stop solutions, these companies hold the key to operating seamlessly across every region, country and economic block in the world — something which has historically been very difficult.
“As the global economy becomes increasingly interlinked, the companies that create these solutions have an immense opportunity for growth. Additionally, European regulation is also often ahead of the US, so there are opportunities for SaaS companies to create solutions in compliance and regulatory-heavy sectors. Not to mention Europe is also home to top technical institutions, whose talent is powering the creation of modern SaaS businesses.”
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 31
Recent SaaS investments: Figures.hr, Linera, Kiln
Notable SaaS investments: Impala, Upflow, Kaiko, Pennylane, Conduktor
Last fund size: N/A
Kima, an angel investment firm for the fortune of French telecoms billionaire Xavier Neil, invests one-off €150k tickets in 100 new deals every year. They focus on French startups but they don’t exclude investing in European ones.
What does the company say: “We invest in all sectors, we have invested a lot in SaaS models in recent years because they have multiplied. Furthermore, SaaS models have the advantage of being scalable and of being able to generate recurring revenues, which is an important advantage from our point of view.”
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 27
Recent SaaS investments: Lodgify, Ampliance, Wazoku, ValueBlue
Notable SaaS investments: Amplience, Permutive, Natterbox, Calastone, Ometria
Last fund size: Octopus invests more than £200m each each year from seed to Series B. It most recently launched its first pre-seed fund, a £10m vehicle (June 2022).
What does the company say: “We’re continuing to invest in SaaS because we believe SaaS offers one of the biggest market opportunities today. Digitalisation and automation are growing in every industry and we’re already seeing them transform everything from legal offices to building sites. The impact of software and its ability to disrupt even the most nascent and unreformed industries are only just beginning.”
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 26
Recent SaaS investments: Figures.hr, Ben, ChoiceQR
Notable SaaS investments: UiPath, Hopin, Rossum, Maze Design, Salesroom
Last fund size: £78m (November 2020)
What does the company say: “We tend to focus on investing in European companies, or companies with a distinctly European angle. This is firstly because these are the market opportunities we understand the most; and secondly because these are the teams who we are best placed to support in terms of value-add. We like to back SaaS companies that have an ambition of becoming a global player, and at the earliest stages we think it’s helpful to have boots on the ground — hence Europe. We will of course continue to do so as it’s our bread and butter.”
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 24
Recent SaaS investments: Ledgy, TOQIO, consola.finance
Notable SaaS investments: Sylvera, Adverity, Upvest
Last fund size: €80m (November 2021)
What does the company say: “SaaS and, more broadly, cloud software is consistently outperforming most other businesses… Each new application accelerates the rate at which other applications can be built. With the cost of storage, computing and energy decreasing, we want to back the founders in the second array in ultimately increasing the outcome for everyone. Like a recursive loop, we believe that backing those who are bold now will benefit the whole ecosystem. As a pre-seed and seed investor, we especially want to fund those who are unproven as first-check investors to start new loops.
“It is impossibly hard to predict the future, but we try to see the present as clearly as we can. The software market is an ever-growing pie that is constantly re-sliced. Our thesis is simultaneously crisp and broad: We invest in the building blocks for modern software companies along the entire stack.”
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 23
Recent SaaS investments: Cuyna, Moneybox, TaxScouts
Notable SaaS investments: Chip
What you need to know: Crowdcube is a bit different from a VC firm; it’s an equity crowdfunding platform that allows retail investors to invest in private companies. According to the company’s spokesperson, SaaS is a very popular sector among their users and will continue to be so.
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 23
Recent SaaS investments: node.energy, Code Intelligence, Neural Concept, Tangany
Notable SaaS investments: Taxdoo, Sdui, SimScale, Casavi, VMRay
Last fund size: €400m (Jun 2022)
What does the company say: “Many SaaS startups are characterised by robust and resilient business models that allow for good planning. Targeted solutions for particular industries and/or company sizes are the drivers of success here. With SaaS startups often being rather capital efficient, we see investor appetite still being relatively high, and we therefore expect the SaaS sector to remain rather stable and to offer a wide range of growth opportunities even with a decreasing amount of total capital being deployed.”
Global Founders Capital
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 22
Recent SaaS investments: Personio, Pennylane, Symmetrical.ai
Notable SaaS investments: Personio, Forto, Flipdish
Last fund size: €150m (Mar 2013)
Global Founders Capital, the VC arm of German tech incubator Rocket Internet, has backed some of the world’s biggest tech companies, including Meta, Canva and Slack, as well as big European companies like Revolut and HelloFresh. Earlier this year, Sifted reported that GFC would fire 80% of their stuff — despite the layoffs, the VC has kept investing.
Number of new European SaaS investments in 2022: 18
Recent SaaS investments: DataSnipper, Builder.ai, Leapsome, Kpler
Notable SaaS investments: IAD, AMCS, SonarSource, CommerceTools
Headquarters: New York
Last fund size: $20bn
What does the company say: “Insight has been a long-time investor in European companies, having made our first investment in 2005… Insight has invested in some of the best companies in Europe and continues to be very excited about the continent despite the new economic paradigm. We will continue to look to Europe as we invest in the best scaleups.”
Zosia Wanat is Sifted’s central and eastern Europe reporter, based in Warsaw. She tweets from @zosiawanat