London, 2 October 2015 – The Investor Allstars Awards 2015 winners were announced yesterday at an awards ceremony at The Lancaster. Celebrating the ‘Year of the Unicorn’ after unprecedented fundraising activity fuelled record numbers of billion-dollar tech companies in Europe, twelve awards recognised outstanding entrepreneurs and investors.
GP Bullhound research has shown that investment activity has shifted from high profile exits to fundraising and a commitment to long term growth strategies. Indeed, the leading 20 VC and Growth Capital firms in Europe have raised more than $15bn for tech companies in the past 12 months, more than double the amount in 2014.
Recognised as a shining example of this trend, ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ went to Zoopla’s founder and CEO Alex Chesterman, one of the latest companies to join the prestigious ‘unicorn’ list in Europe.
SIGFOX, the French Internet of Things connectivity company, was announced as Europe’s Allstar Company – the tech company with the highest growth potential in Europe. Following a speech from last year’s winner, Nicolas Brusson, founder of BlaBlaCar, SIGFOX was awarded the accolade after pitching to an audience of investors. Five companies were shortlisted in the category and, with an average year-on-year growth of 148%, competition was fierce.
Other winners included restaurant disruptors JUST EAT, who won the ‘Corporate Development Team of the Year’, and Crowdcube, who saw off tough competition to top the ‘Private Investor Network of the Year’. In addition, Ben Holmes, Index Ventures was named ‘Investor of the Year’.
Manish Madhvani, Managing Partner of GP Bullhound, commented: “This year has seen a remarkable shift towards entrepreneurs fundraising for long term growth. In Europe unicorns have really gained traction, with tech companies beginning to reach globally competitive valuations.
“Investor Allstars recognises the individuals and companies driving momentum in the European tech market. Never before have we had such a wealth of technology talent on our doorstep.”
Niki Baker, CEO of Vitesse Media, commented: “The Investor Allstars Awards has become a landmark event for London’s digital sector. Europe’s entrepreneurial industry comes together to celebrate the deals and successes that have defined the past 12 months and made London the home of tech.”
Ludovic le Moan, founder of SIGFOX, commented: “It is a privilege to be named Europe’s Allstar company. SIGFOX is laying down the network for an Internet of Things-enabled world. The European investment community understands the growth potential of technology companies and this award is testament to a new confidence in digital innovation and disruption.”
The event brought together 650 leading figures from every stage of the investment cycle along with Europe’s most successful digital entrepreneurs. The evening was hosted by Bloomberg TV correspondent Caroline Hyde. The event was held in support of the Pituitary Foundation, with guests raising money to help the charity provide information and assistance to those suffering from pituitary disorders and their relatives, friends and carers.
The annual event is organised by GP Bullhound, the technology investment bank, and GrowthBusiness, a Vitesse Media publication specialising in providing information for entrepreneurs and leaders of fast-growth businesses.
The Investor Allstars Awards 2015 are sponsored by Barclays, Berenberg, Cooley, Crowdcube, Orrick, PER, Bird & Bird, Information Age, JAG Shaw Baker, alongside media partnerships with GrowthBusiness and Bloomberg.
The full list of Award winners is:
VC Fund of the Year
• Accel Partners
Exit of the Year
• FDM Group: Inflexion
Growth Fund of the Year
• Eight Roads Ventures
Investor of the Year
• Ben Holmes, Index Ventures
Buyout Fund of the Year
Entrepreneur of the Year
• Alex Chesterman, Zoopla
• Kreos Capital
Corporate Development Team of the Year
• JUST EAT
VCT of the Year
• Mobeus Equity Partners
Private Investor Network of the Year
Seed Fund of the Year
• High-Tech Gruenderfonds
Europe’s Allstar Company
Jack Davies, Seven Hills, tel: 0207 199 6193, mob: 07872 169 072, email: [email protected]ls.com
About GP Bullhound
As dealmakers in technology, GP Bullhound provides independent strategic advice on mergers and acquisitions and private placements to entrepreneurs, companies and investors. By combining a true passion for innovation with great access to global buyers and capital across Europe, US and Asia, GP Bullhound has completed transactions with many category leaders including Avito, Delivery Hero, Fjord, King.com, Pingdom, Pozitron and Spotify. The firm was founded in London in 1999 and today also has offices in San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin and Manchester. For more information, please visit www.gpbullhound.com.
About Vitesse Media
Vitesse Media is a multimedia business that offers award-winning publications, fast-growing websites, exciting events and much-acclaimed research. It is the leading specialist in growth businesses, entrepreneurs and CEOs, as well as their investors, advisers and suppliers. Vitesse Media is quoted on AIM. www.vitessemedia.co.uk.