Investment

London and Munich – where Europe’s family offices are now most active

Investment activity among family offices in London and Munich is currently among the most dynamic anywhere, as the two cities attract record levels of venture investment from private investment groups since the beginning of the year. 

Among recent highlights is ATHOS Service’s investment in Munich-based railroad AI software platform Konux and Horizons Ventures investment in London-based educational gaming platform Kuato Studios. ATHOS along with four other investors ploughed €65 million into Konux, taking the group’s valuation close to unicorn territory. Kuato Studios received £4.5 million from Horizons. 

ATHOS Service is the family office of pharmaceutical billionaire brothers Thomas and Andreas Strüngmann. It’s best known for backing BioNTech, the pharmaceutical group behind one of the first vaccines for Covid-19. ATHOS is also based in Munich. 

Horizons Ventures is Li Ka-shing’s venture-focus investment group based in Hong Kong. Horizons is a big investor in London tech, with seven of its investments in the city in the last few years. 

Personio, an HR platform, is another notable Munich-based tech group to secure a big funding round since the beginning of the year. Picus Capital, set up by venture billionaire Alexander Samwer, was one of the backers of the $125 million round for Personio, valuing it at €1.4 billion. Picus is also based in Munich. 

Back in London, Smedvig Capital, the London-based family investment group of the Norwegian Smedvig family, along with Hands Family Office, the investment group of UK private equity specialist Guy Hands, backed proSapient, a London-based AI market research platform. 

London and Munich are two of the biggest centres for family office activity in Europe, and hotbeds for venture investors and startups. The UK capital has the most number of family offices in Europe, with 56 of the top 400 based there according to a recent Family Capital survey. Munich is the biggest centre for family offices in Germany, with 10 based there among the top 400 survey. 

Last year, London attracted $10.5 billion in venture investing, according to Dealroom.co. It is by far the largest venture fund-raising centre in Europe, with the biggest fundraised there in 2020, worth $820 million by Atomico last February. Two of the other top ten venture fundraising in 2020 were in Munich – €535 million by HV Capital and €250 million by Munich Venture Partners, making the city the biggest centre in Germany for venture capital. 

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