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Venture capital fund EQT Ventures raises over 1 billion euros for tech startups

By Marie Mannes

(Reuters) - EQT's venture capital fund said on Wednesday it had raised 1.1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) as it seeks to increase investments in tech startups next year whilst company valuations are low due to weak markets and soaring inflation. The Swedish fund, which initially invested in Finnish start-up Wolt before it was bought by U.S. delivery firm DoorDash, said it planned on using the money to support early-stage tech startups in Europe and North America.

Ted Persson, partner in EQT Ventures, told Reuters the fund had slowed its investment pace early in the year but planned to ramp it up in 2023.

He said the fund would be able to invest even more in companies as valuations were currently low due to market conditions, adding there could also be an increase in startups from some enterprising employees laid off from their jobs.

As a result of the uncertain geopolitical situation coupled with soaring inflation and energy costs, venture capital funding has slowed down since its boom in 2021.

In addition to reduced funding, high-flying startups have seen billions shaved off their valuations, including Swedish Klarna which in July was forced to raise capital in a round that cut its valuation by over 80%.

($1 = 0.9925 euros)

(Reporting by Marie Mannes, Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)