EQT Partners AB, the Nordic buyout firm, is set to raise as much as 650 million euros ($716 million) for its latest venture fund, adding to the growing number of sizable European-based pots of capital chasing investments in startups.

Stockholm-based EQT Ventures could reach a final close of between 600 million euros and 650 million euros in the coming weeks for its second venture fund, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified as the process is private.

A representative for EQT Ventures declined to comment.

Launched in 2016, EQT Ventures raised 566 million euros for its maiden fund. The firm buys stakes in tech startups and invests between 1 million euros and 75 million euros in startups across Europe and the U.S.

Led by Hjalmar Winbladh, the fund’s recent investments include autonomous electric transport system Einride and Beat81, a German-based fitness technology. The fund had its first exit in December when Zynga Inc. acquired control of Small Giant Games Oy for $560 million.

Venture capital investment in Europe has already set a record this year. Investment over the first three quarters of the year hit $28.1 billion, surpassing the amount spent in all of 2018, according to a report from KPMG.

Balderton Capital, the London-based venture capital firm, recently raised $400 million, making it one of the biggest early-stage investment funds in Europe, while Accel put together a $575 million fund for investments in European and Israeli startups in May.

Source: Bloomberg

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