• Investment rises 7% to €2.95bn, VC investment achieves new record

Brussels, Belgium – 15 July 2020 Private equity firms invested in a record 464 companies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in 2019, with investment increasing by 7% year-on-year to €2.95 billion, as the industry strengthened its commitment to the SMEs and start-ups that are fueling the region’s economic growth and innovation, according to Invest Europe data.

Invest Europe, the association representing Europe’s private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, as well as their investors, today released its 2019 Central and Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics. The report shows that private equity investment reached the second-highest total ever recorded at €2.95 billion, with the number of companies up 10% on the previous year to a new all-time high. Both figures are well above the previous five-year average for the region. 

Venture capital investment doubled to a record €338 million in 2019, with 369 companies receiving VC support. The result followed record VC fundraising over the past three years, underlining the CEE’s booming start-up culture, focused particularly on Hungary and Poland. 

Robert Manz, chair of Invest Europe’s Central and Eastern Europe Taskforce, commented: “Since the fall of the Berlin Wall three decades ago, Central and Eastern Europe has undergone a remarkable political and economic transformation. Private equity is proud to have played its part, bringing not only capital, but also the expertise and skills to help drive the region’s successful convergence process.”

Eric de Montgolfier, CEO of Invest Europe, added: “The 2019 Central and Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics paint the picture of a mature investment ecosystem that still has plenty of room to grow. Across the region, private equity and venture capital is supporting innovation and business expansion, which in turn is driving economic growth and job creation.” 

Estonia was the leading destination in terms of investment in 2019, accounting for 23% of the private equity capital invested in the region, followed by Poland (20%) and Romania (19%). About half the investment flowed into the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, aiming to follow in the footsteps of CEE tech leaders including Bucharest-founded business automation software group UiPath and Polish online medical appointment booking system developer DocPlanner. 

Fundraising for Central and Eastern European private equity funds was €1.4 billion in 2019, in line with the previous five-year average. At €631 million, venture capital firms accounted for 45% of the capital raised, the second-highest total on record. Buyout funds represented 40% of the total raised, with growth funds accounting for the remaining 15%.

The 2019 Central and Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics are available to download from Invest Europe’s website, Please click here to access the full report.


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About Invest Europe

Invest Europe is the association representing Europe’s private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, as well as their investors.
Our members take a long-term approach to investing in privately held companies, from start-ups to established firms. They inject not only capital but dynamism, innovation and expertise. This commitment helps deliver strong and sustainable growth, resulting in healthy returns for Europe’s leading pension funds and insurers, to the benefit of the millions of European citizens who depend on them.
Invest Europe aims to make a constructive contribution to policy affecting private capital investment in Europe. We provide information to the public on our members’ role in the economy. Our research provides the most authoritative source of data on trends and developments in our industry.
Invest Europe is the guardian of the industry’s professional standards, demanding accountability, good governance and transparency from our members.
Invest Europe is a non-profit organisation with 25 employees in Brussels, Belgium.

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About the European Data Cooperative (EDC) 

The Investing in Europe: Private Equity Activity 2019 report  covers activity on over 1,400 firms, directly verified by the fund managers via the European Data Cooperative (EDC). Working together with national private equity associations from across Europe to collate robust and comparable statistics, Invest Europe has developed the industry’s most comprehensive database including 86% of the €782bn in capital under management in Europe. The EDC holds data from over 3,400 European private equity firms on 9,500 funds, 75,000 portfolio companies and 280,000 transactions since 2007. The full report is free to download from the Invest Europe website.