Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Top British VC Investments of 2010

With 2010 having drawn to a close it seems an appropriate time to look back over the bigger VC investments made in British startups over the last year. Technology news sites like Techcrunch, ReadWriteWeb and even the formerly British Mashable have a tendency to overlook European startups so it's often easy to miss the startups who have raised big money in the last year.

(amount of money raised by the company in 2010 is indicated, I've marked with a star those cases where some of the money raised has come from non-VC sources such as private equity)

In the consumer stakes retail startups have been popular with My-Wardrobe (High end fashion; €7m), (aggregates 1600 independent stores; €9.1m), and mySupermarket (price comparison; $7.4m) dominating. Business areas which have traditionally been done offline continue to move online AutoQuake (ex-fleet car sales; £6m) and Borro (online pawnbroking; £10m) being prime examples

Two consumer companies Flirtomatic (mobile dating; $9m) and TweetDeck (stream reader; $3m) are well on the way to building global consumer brands. With the size of the investment that AlertMe (home energy monitoring; £15m*) have raised one must assume they have global ambitions as well.

Apart from Flirtomatic there seems to have been limited investment in UK mobile startups this year although there are a few notable exceptions including Blyk (mobile advertising; €17m), CloudMade (geo-data; €9.6m) and Masabi (mobile ticketing; 2m).

The enterprise technology market continues to show strength in the UK with two data storage companies Mimecast (email archiving in the cloud; $21m) and RainStor (data preservation; $7.5m) doing well. Niche players such as OpenCloud (app server for telecom companies; €6m) and TheHutGroup (retail ecommerce platform; £32.5m*) have also seen strong growth. And of course we can't forget Huddle (enterprise collaboration; $10.2m).

Overall the British startup market continues to look healthy when it comes to raising large investments, although it's notable that with the exception of Tweetdeck every company listed has clear sources of revenue. Showing perhaps that British VCs still have some way to go in catching up with their US counterparts when it comes to investing in high-risk startups with no clear revenue streams.


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  2. You know due to my job’s responsibilities I am reading a lot of world news. Mostly I real finance related ones. I can say that the US is doing pretty badly; I guess it is not even worth mentioning Greece and Spain at all. France is trying to figure out how to get out of its mess. I do get to hear to very pleasant news about Great Britain, but they are not that bad. It is not like British people are loaded with paydayloans or any similar services and housing market is still not that bad!

  3. We are looking to grow our new 'startup' Birthday Mates. So far, it is the only birthday networking site on the web that groups and connects people who share a similar birthday, including possibly helping them have joint celebrations, exchange gifts and more.

    Are you willing to have a sit down with us to have a discussion?