2021 Central and Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics
Take a closer look at Baltic states from Venture Capital and Private Equity investments point of view:
- Baltic region received 21,4% of the total investment value in CEE in 2021.
- Estonia was the absolute leader in Private equity investments as a percentage of GDP with 1,574% from GDP, overrunning even Norway and the UK.
- Lithuania and Latvia were between leaders from the point of the divestments in 2018-2021.
Invest Europe, the association representing Europe’s private equity,
venture capital and infrastructure sectors, as well as their investors, today published its 2021 Central and
Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics. The research shows that the number of companies receiving
investment in the region increased by 11% from last year’s record to 672, underscoring the rapid step up in
private equity and venture capital activity across the broad, varied and fast-growing CEE region.
• Capital invested more than doubles to record €4.15bn, while fundraising and exits strengthen
• Record year for venture capital investment and fundraising
• Private equity and venture capital invested €4.15 billion in equity in CEE companies in 2021, a new
record for the region and far ahead of the €1.8 billion invested in 2020, with 38.5% of capital
flowing into the dynamic Information Communication Technology (ICT) segment.
• Venture capital and growth investing drove the increase in investment levels, with a record 541
companies receiving €659 million in VC funding, and 90 businesses receiving €1.8 billion in growth
investment, quadrupling 2020’s levels.
The 18th annual edition of the Central and Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics, produced in
partnership with Gide Loyrette Nouel, delves into countries across CEE to show the spread of private
equity and venture capital activity, as well as development of regional powerhouses.
Investment in Poland climbed sharply on previous years to almost €1.2 billion in 2021, while 241
companies received investment in Hungary, reflecting the country’s leading position as a regional start-up
hub. Estonia led investment as a percentage of GDP for all Europe with private equity investment
representing 1.6% of its economic output.
Bill Watson, Chair of Invest Europe’s Central and Eastern Europe Taskforce, commented:
“Russia’s war against Ukraine has brought a renewed and very different focus on the Central and
Eastern Europe region, creating catastrophic humanitarian, economic and geopolitical
consequences. Yet, CEE remains a dynamic market, packed with entrepreneurial start-ups,
maturing businesses with international ambitions, and highly educated and skilled individuals
determined to make a positive mark.”
Eric de Montgolfier, CEO of Invest Europe, added:
“Private equity and venture capital can be a strong catalyst for company transformation,
economic growth and social development. The CEE region is only starting to tap into its huge
potential. Our industry is playing an essential role in supporting businesses through a challenging
period, while helping them take advantage of opportunities ahead.”
It was also a strong year for exits and fundraising, underlining the maturity of the private equity ecosystem in CEE. A record 173 CEE companies were divested in 2021, representing almost €1.5 billion at historical investment cost. Poland was the leading market for exits, both by value and number of companies, yet activity was more evenly spread than in previous years with four countries, including Lithuania, Czech Republic and Romania, recording exits in excess of €100 million at investment cost. Fundraising enjoyed its second best year since the financial crisis, increasing by 33% to €1.75 billion, driven by government agencies in the region, as well as local institutional and private investors predominantly in the Baltic states and Czech Republic. Venture capital fundraising hit a new record of €831 million, accounting for 47% of total CEE fundraising, feeding investment in innovation across the region.
To download a copy of the 2021 Central and Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics, please click here.