Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s largest venture capital firms, has raised a $145 million fund to make direct secondaries investments in European technology companies.
Balderton Liquidity I will buy stakes from early-stage investors, such as angel investors, founders and employees, who wish to get pre-exit liquidity, the firm said in a statement. It will target minority stakes in software- and internet-based companies founded in the past decade that have raised more than $20 million.
“While a simple measure, this capital threshold is a good litmus test for the health of a business: those that have passed it tend to have achieved a proven and scalable business model,” the firm wrote in an accompanying blog post.
Around 500 European companies match this criteria, which means there could be more than $4 billion-worth of early shareholder stakes on the market, according to Balderton’s calculations.
Liquidity I took three months to raise from new and existing institutions and family offices from Europe, the US and Asia. Daniel Waterhouse, a former VC and private equity partner at 3i, will lead the fund.
Balderton’s latest flagship venture capital fund raised $375 million by final close in November 2017, according to PEI data. It invests in Series A funding rounds of European companies.
In May, Secondaries Investor wrote that growing numbers of big exits from European VC-backed firms, such as Spotify’s $26.5 billion share offering in April, could have a positive knock-on impact on the secondaries market.
Founded in 2000 as Benchmark Capital Europe, Balderton Capital spun out in 2007. With $2.7 billion in total assets under management, it is the largest early-stage venture capital firm in Europe.