Growth capital on the up in CEE

Growth capital funding in Central and Eastern Europe increased five-fold in 2008, with €710m invested in the region.

According to the latest stats from the European Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (EVCA), a total of €2.5bn of private equity investment took place in CEE last year, which despite being an 18% drop on 2007, still marks it out as the region’s second most active year.

Growth capital, which reached €132m in 2007, accounted for 29% of the total money invested in 2008, well above the Europe-wide average of 14%.

Buyouts represented the largest portion in CEE, with €1.6bn invested, a 30% drop on 2007, and accounting for 63% of all money invested. Venture capital investment fell by a third from 2007 although the number of companies receiving VC backing actually increased.

By country, Poland takes top spot with €628m invested, more than a quarter of the total invested in CEE, with Hungary seeing €477m and the Czech Republic with €411m.