Meet 15 of the Most Prolific VCs Backing European AI Startups Right Now
AI has proved a bright spot in an otherwise dour year for startup funding.
The public launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November kick-started a surge in investor interest in generative artificial intelligence, which has been used to create everything from art and music to new protein models and materials. Venture capitalists have already poured $51.9 billion into AI startups this year and are primed to exceed the $65.5 billion invested in the sector in 2022, according to Dealroom data.
The French startup Mistral, billed as Europe’s competitor to OpenAI, was just 4 weeks old when it raised an enormous $113 million seed round led by Lightspeed. London’s Stability AI, the company behind text-to-image generator Stable Diffusion that was last valued at $1 billion, is also backed by Lightspeed, as well as the New York private-equity giant Coatue. Meanwhile, Andreessen Horowitz has poured cash into the AI-voice-intelligence startup ElevenLabs and the Nordic AI startup Sloyd.
Some of Europe’s most prolific AI investors are national funds and startup accelerators. Using PitchBook data, Insider has analyzed some of the busiest global investors piling into AI startups — which are classified as companies which incorporate AI as a significant part of their product or service — in the region based on deal flow and the total value of investments they have been involved in since 2020.
Since many of the top US VC firms have ramped up their investments in Europe in the past year, their involvement on the continent since 2020 is not as representative compared with the funds in the total dataset, which spans from 2020 to 2023.
London’s Phoenix Court, the parent company of the VC firm LocalGlobe, took the top spot for total investment value — with $713 million poured into AI startups since 2020. MMC Ventures, also in London, followed suit with $628 million in investments in AI startups.
Insider has profiled 15 investors at these firms who have spearheaded investments into European AI startups, in no particular order.