Bird & Bird advises Index Ventures on $300 million investment round of DeepL

Photo: Danny Riemer, Part­ner at Index Ventures in London (Photo © Index Ventures)
29. May 2024

Frank­furt — Index Ventures is lead inves­tor in the $300 million invest­ment round of DeepL, a leading German arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence company in the field of speech tech­no­logy, at a valua­tion of $2 billion. In addi­tion to the exis­ting inves­tors IVP, Atomico and WiL, other late-stage inves­tors such as ICONIQ Growth, Teachers’ Venture Growth, World Inno­va­tion Lab and others also parti­ci­pa­ted. The inter­na­tio­nal law firm Bird & Bird advi­sed Index Ventures on this transaction.

The invest­ment comes at a time of strong growth and momen­tum for DeepL, which has built a global network of more than 100,000 custo­mers consis­ting of compa­nies, govern­ments and other orga­niza­ti­ons. In response to incre­asing demand from global compa­nies, DeepL has acce­le­ra­ted its expan­sion efforts and stra­te­gic invest­ments in key markets over the past year. In Janu­ary 2024, DeepL step­ped up its invol­vement in the USA — now its third largest market — by opening its first branch in the region and has signi­fi­cantly expan­ded its range of products tail­o­red to compa­nies over the last 12 months. The company laun­ched DeepL Write Pro, a writing assistant speci­fi­cally tail­o­red to writing busi­ness docu­ments and based on its own LLM (Large Language Model) tech­no­logy. In addi­tion, the number of languages supported by the plat­form has been further expan­ded with the recent addi­tion of Arabic, Korean and Norwe­gian, brin­ging the total number of languages on offer to 32.

“The success story of DeepL is some­thing of an open secret in the busi­ness world,” explains Danny Riemer (photo © Index Ventures), Part­ner at Index Ventures in London. The company takes a very careful approach to deve­lo­ping inno­va­tive AI products that bring real and imme­diate added value to its custo­mers. Jarek and the rest of the DeepL team attach great importance to both rese­arch and commer­cial orien­ta­tion. It is precis­ely these two factors that make the company so successful.”

The appoint­ment of Bird & Bird for the legal due dili­gence of DeepL by Index Ventures reflects Bird & Bird’s strong focus on tech­no­logy tran­sac­tions and its deep under­stan­ding of soft­ware and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence compa­nies. The firm’s highly specia­li­zed exper­tise combi­ned with its inter­na­tio­nal approach provi­ded Index Ventures with the neces­sary insight to assess DeepL’s busi­ness from a legal perspective.

Bird & Bird lead part­ner Dr. Marc Seeger said: “We were deligh­ted to support our client in this exci­ting project. Our team reviewed all rele­vant legal aspects of a leading AI-based busi­ness model, brin­ging in our deep under­stan­ding of the sector and tech­no­logy. The exper­tise of our AI-focu­­sed commer­cial team was equally impres­sive and bene­fi­cial for the client and the other co-investors.”

About Index Ventures

Index Ventures is a Euro­pean global venture capi­tal firm with two head­quar­ters in San Fran­cisco and London that invests in tech­­no­­logy-based compa­nies with a focus on e‑commerce, fintech, mobi­lity, gaming, infrastructure/AI, and secu­rity.

Advi­sor to Index Ventures: Bird & Bird

Part­ner Dr. Marc Seeger (Lead, Frank­furt), Coun­sel Andrea Schlote (Munich), Asso­ciate Felix Spind­ler, LL.M (Düssel­dorf, all Corporate/M&A), Part­ner Dr. Miriam Ball­hau­sen and Asso­cia­tes Alex­andre Franke and Fiona Gawlik (all Commercial/Technology & Commu­ni­ca­tion, Hamburg), Coun­sel Oliver Belitz (Commercial/KI, Frank­furt), Coun­sel Dr. Nils Lölfing (Data Protec­tion / AI, Düssel­dorf), Asso­ciate Dr. Simon Hembt (Intellec­tual Property / AI, Frank­furt), Part­ner Dr. Simon Assion (Data Protec­tion, Frank­furt), Senior Coun­sel Elie Kauf­man, LL.M. and asso­ciate Finja Schling­mann (both real estate law, Frank­furt), part­ner Dr. Artur-Konrad Wypy­chand asso­ciate Dr. Karina Bisch­off (both employ­ment law, Düssel­dorf), part­ner Dr. Michael Jüne­mann, asso­cia­tes Julia Fröh­der and Timo Förs­ter (all finan­cing & finan­cial regu­la­tion, Frankfurt);

Coun­sel Moritz Neidel (Patent Law, Hamburg), Asso­ciate Rick Wend­ler (Trade­mark Law, Düssel­dorf), as well as Part­ner Mark Rund­all (Corporate/M&A, London), Part­ner Ludo­mir Biede­cki (Corporate/M&A, Warsaw), Part­ner Pauline Vos (Corporate/M&A, The Hague) and their teams.

Advi­sor to exis­ting inves­tor Atomico: YPOG 

Dr. Benja­min Ullrich (Co-Lead, Tran­sac­tions), Part­ner, Berlin Tobias Lovett (Co-Lead, Tran­sac­tions), Senior Asso­ciate, Berlin Farina Weber (Tran­sac­tions), Asso­ciate, Berlin

About Atomico

Atomico invests in early-stage tech­no­logy compa­nies through to IPO — with a parti­cu­lar focus on Europe — using its exten­sive opera­tio­nal expe­ri­ence to acce­le­rate their growth. Since its incep­tion in 2006, Atomico has worked with over 130 ambi­tious teams — inclu­ding Klarna, Super­cell, Graph­core, Compass, Messa­ge­Bird, Master­class, Atten­tive Mobile, Pipedrive and Hinge Health. Atomico’s team of foun­ders, inves­tors and opera­tio­nal execu­ti­ves have been respon­si­ble for global expan­sion, hiring and marke­ting at compa­nies ranging from Skype and Google to Twit­ter and Uber. The company curr­ently has assets under manage­ment of US$5 billion.


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