ICO News: Europe Takes the Lead in ICO Fundraising

on Nov 30, 2017

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have emerged as a preferred choice among startups to raise funding, rivaling more traditional forms of startup backing such as venture capital. So far this year, investors have poured USD 3+ billion into token sales, and deals will continue to unfold in December. Europe has been crowned as the leading region for ICO fundraising, having attracted nearly 50% of funds from all deals in recent years, according to data collected by European venture capital firm Atomico in conjunction with TokenData.

European-based publishers of ICO deals have attracted USD 1.76 billion to their coffers over the past three years, which reflects 46% of token sale fundraisings around the world. The lion’s share of all ICO activity, or 90%-plus, has unfolded in 2017. Switzerland, Germany and Austria were the most popular domiciles for blockbuster ICO deals, having raised USD 976 million among them and outperforming both the UK and Ireland.

ICO Deal Concentration 

Some of the highest profile European deals to date have been Zug-based Bancor, which is behind a smart token protocol and attracted USD 153 million to its ICO over the summer; Another Zug-based startup Status, which is an Ethereum blockchain-driven mobile messaging and payments app, raised more than USD 100 million during its token sale. Worth noting is that the Tezos project is also Swiss based, and the USD 232 million that it raised in its ICO hangs in the balance as the startup battles its own demons and fights to regain investor trust.

It’s not surprising that a venture capital firm was behind the research on ICO fundraising, as ICOs and VC have been jockeying for position among startups. While a percentage of venture capitalists remain on the sidelines even as their peers back token sales, major European VCs will similarly decide that if you can’t beat them, join them in 2018, according to the research.