Early & Later stage companies

With the Deutsche Börse Venture Network, Deutsche Börse AG focuses its expertise on the pre-IPO segment, efficiently providing access to funding for early- and late-stage growth and technology companies. With over 200 companies and more than 460 investors, the Deutsche Börse Venture Network is the leading ecosystem for growth financing and Capital Market Readiness in Europe.

The growth network was founded in 2015 and includes more than 200 start-ups across a wide range of industries which can be grouped into eight sectors. Just under 120 companies (approx. 60 per cent) of them are classifiable as tech companies in the narrower sense, and a particularly high share of them operate in Financial Services, Industrial & Infrastructure, or IT, Software & Data.

Source: dealroom.co (As at July 2021)

The venture capital deal volume increased significantly from 2016 to 2021. However, within the same period, the total number of deals decreased, which is in part due to some investors’ increasing focus on their existing portfolios. This, in turn, also means that the total capital raised from investors per financing round has increased on average. 34 per cent of the financing deals exceeded a total volume of €250 million. In 2020, only 9 per cent of the financing deals had topped the €250 million mark.

After a slight decline in deal volume in the pandemic year 2020, a new high of €8.1 billion has already been reached after the first half of 2021. Deal volume has thus grown at a CAGR of 30 per cent since 2016. 

Despite the general trend towards fewer, larger rounds, the first half of 2021 has seen the first year-on-year increase in the number of deals since 2018, with a 21 per cent rise in the number of deals within the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020. Compared to the same period of 2019, the number of transactions was also higher with a total of 381. 

European venture capitalists continue to raise record levels of new funding but can barely keep up with the high demand cf. deal count. 48 per cent of capital already invested into German growth companies this year originated from European investors. However, a large number of start-ups still have to raise their required funding from non-European investors, especially in the late stage. Providing sufficient growth capital for later financing rounds remains a challenge across Germany and Europe. For scaling, unicorns and fast-growing start-ups thus remain heavily dependent on international venture capitalists.

Source: dealroom.co (As at July 2021)

After a pandemic-related slowdown in Q2 2020, both the number of financing rounds and the total volume of venture capital funding resurged from Q3 onwards. As a result, Q1 2021 already exceeded the last peak from Q3 2019 (€2.3 billion), again surpassed even more significantly in Q2 2021 by breaking the €5 billion mark in deal volume. The total number of deals, however, decreased slightly from 185 to 182.

The first quarter’s already high deal volume in Germany was doubled to a new record level in Q2 2021. Driven by several mega-rounds, the deal volume in Q2 2021 totalled €5.2 billion. 

The first quarter of 2021 recorded the highest number of deals in the last six quarters with 185. However, at €2.6 billion, these raised only half as much capital in total as the 182 deals in Q2 2021.  

The three largest financing rounds in the second quarter of 2021 were closed by the software company and Deutsche Börse Venture Network member Celonis (€850 million1) and the two fintechs Trade Republic (€635 million) and Wefox (€551 million), which together accounted for 39 per cent of the total capital raised.

1Exchange rate on 28 July 2021 via Morningstar 0.85 US$/€


In the second quarter, three transactions by members of the Deutsche Börse Venture Network are particularly noteworthy: the financing rounds of Celonis and Scalable Capital, as well as the IPO of Mister Spex.

Celonis, the global market leader in enterprise software, announced a €850 million Series D financing round on 2 June 2021, valuing Celonis at more than € 9.3 billion. The funding round was led by Durable Capital Partners LP and T. Rowe Price Associates.

In total, the start-up has received around €313 million from investors since June 2016. Over the past year, the Munich-based company has seen strong growth, doubling its number of employees to more than 800. It has, meanwhile, also opened its second headquarters in New York as part of its expansionary efforts into the US market.

Source: celonis.com, forbes.com

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Scalable Capital, a fast-growing Munich-based neo-broker and Europe’s largest digital asset manager, has raised more than €150 million in a Series E funding round led by China’s leading tech company Tencent. This additional funding round, with already existing shareholders also participating, brings the total capital inflow to over €260 million.

The funding will be used to further strengthen Scalable Capital’s European growth as well as to continue building its integrated digital wealth management and brokerage offering. Five years after its launch in February 2016, the company has more than a quarter of a million customers and over €4 billion in assets under management on its platform. It is also one of the fastest growing European fintechs.

Source: en.scalable.capital, techcrunch.com

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The tenth member of the Deutsche Börse Venture Network to go public since 2016, VC-funded growth company Mister Spex raised €375 million in its IPO in early July this year. IPO market capitalisation was €867 million. The Berlin-based company combines classic optician services with virtual offerings such as online eye tests. The additional capital will be used primarily to expand internationally. According to the company, it operates online shops in ten countries as well as more than 40 physical stores in Germany, Austria and Sweden.

Source: Primary Market Statistics via deutsche-boerse-cash-market.com, handelsblatt.com


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Data source: Deutsche Börse AG                                                                  As at 30 June 2021

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