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GenAI and energy investment propel European VC to $30B – Silicon Canals



GenAI and energy investment propel European VC to B – Silicon Canals

In H1 2024, European tech investment has propelled to nearly $30B, driven by mega rounds for energy and Generative AI companies, reveals data from Dealroom.

This is up by 12 per cent compared to the same time last year, signalling a strong return to growth for the European tech ecosystem. 

Strong quarter for Generative AI and Energy sector

Generative AI had its strongest quarter on record, with $2.6B raised across multiple companies.

Meanwhile, the Energy sector remains the most funded in 2024, with a total of $5.6B raised.

Late-stage investment has seen an 8 per cent year-on-year increase to over $5B in both sectors, says the report.

Additionally, breakout funding (stage B to C) has reached its highest total in six quarters at $6.2B. In the current year, 1450 companies across Europe have raised at least $2B.

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AI soaring high

According to the report, AI investments now account for 18 per cent of all funding flowing across Europe, up from 6.9 per cent only 10 years ago.

Generative AI makes up 10 per cent of all European VC funding so far this year, adds the report.

The top five AI investment rounds include:

  • Wayve – $1.1B Series C 
  • Mistral AI – $503M Series B 
  • DeepL – $300M Late VC 
  • H Company – $200M Seed + Convertible note
  • Cognigy – $100M Series C 

Energy – most funded sector

The energy sector remains dominant in European tech, with $5.6 billion raised in H1 2024, making it the most funded sector so far this year.

This continues the trend from 2023 when the increase in investment for startups enabling the energy transition meant Energy was the top-funded industry in Europe every quarter. 

In Q2, hydrogen companies secured significant investment rounds, with Paris-based HysetCo raising €200M to decarbonise urban transport with its hydrogen taxis.

Brussels-based Tree Energy Solutions (TES), focused on producing green energy through electric natural gas derived from green hydrogen, also raised €140M.

Fintech and Health have raised $5.3 billion each this year. Over 250 health tech companies raised funds in Q2 2024, compared to 230 fintech companies. 

Geneva raised more funding in H1 2024

The UK has collected the most VC investment so far in 2024, raising $9.4B in total, adds the report.

London-based companies raised the majority of this funding, $6.8B, with investment into the city up 30 per cent compared to 2023.

Cambridge also made the top 10 European cities for funding, with $664.6M raised by the city’s tech companies so far, up 83 per cent on 2023’s figures. 

France ($4.3B) and Paris closely followed the UK and London, ($3.1B).

However, the biggest European tech success this year goes to Geneva which has already raised more funding in the first half of the year ($385.7M) compared to the whole of 2023 ($262M).

Large funding rounds in the city include iOnctura, a biopharma cancer treatment company ($86.4M), Alpian, a financial services company ($83.7M), and Neurosterix, a neurological drug development company ($63M). 

Jeannette zu Fürstenberg, Managing Director and Head of Europe at General Catalyst, says, “These figures are very encouraging and demonstrate how Europe can be a key player in the immense economic opportunity unleashed by AI, which I like to call a European RenAIssance. Leveraging the power of AI to bolster European productivity and growth we believe will be key when building globally successful technology companies on this continent. The uptick in late-stage funding in the first half of this year we think demonstrates the appetite for Europe’s most ambitious companies.”

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