Highland Europe raises €700m for fourth fund

Fergal Mullen of Highland Europe

Venture capital group Highland Europe announced it has raised €700 million for its fourth fund, its largest yet, “to double-down on its strategy of backing the continent’s most outstanding founder-led teams in software and internet businesses.”

The new fund brings the total raised by Highland Europe to €1.8 billion since it was carved out from US-based Highland Capital Partners in 2012 as a standalone investor.

Highland Europe also said it has reinforced its team, promoting Jean Tardy-Joubert, Gajan Rajanathan and Ronan Shally to partner.

“Building on a track record of investing in consumer tech brands and software companies such as AMCS, Brandwatch, ContentSquare, Featurespace, GetYourGuide, Huel, Jellysmack, MatchesFashion, Nexthink, PhotoBox, WeTransfer, Zwift and Wolt, the new fund takes Highland Europe’s assets under management to €1.8bn,” said Highland Europe.

“Over the past 12 months, the firm has backed seven exceptional founding teams investing nearly €200M in Alkemics, Cobalt, DominoDatalab, Farewill, Meditopia, Modulr and Supermetrics as well as the existing portfolio.

“Highland Europe’s portfolio companies attracted exceptional external investment appetite with €730m follow-on investment in the last 12 months, some of which fueled seven M&A transactions completed by portfolio companies.

“Last but not least, the team helped two founder-led teams (Spot and Smartly.io) navigate strategic and private equity interest, resulting in substantial liquidity events.”

Fergal Mullen, co-founder and partner at Highland Europe, said: “During 2020 we have seen 10-year trends in tech adoption compressed into one year across both consumer and business segments.

“Software has gone mainstream and it is mission-critical.

“The opportunity at the growth stage in Europe has never been more evident or more urgent.

“Highland Europe’s role is to bring capital, our deep network and scaling expertise to companies that can make it all the way to IPO.

“We have the track record, the team and a highly selective and focused strategy to help Europe’s most promising tech businesses become global leaders.”

Explaining the promotions of Jean Tardy-Joubert, Gajan Rajanathan and Ronan Shally to partner, Highland Europe added: “Tardy-Joubert and Rajanathan joined Highland in 2017-18 from Qatalyst, the San Francisco-based boutique investment bank serving the global tech sector, while Shally has been with the firm since 2014 and is Highland’s chief financial officer. 

“By promoting Gajan, Jean and Ronan, Highland Europe is better positioned than ever to help the founders it backs to achieve their ambitions.

“Highland Europe is differentiated by a high-touch, collaborative approach to helping companies scale globally.”