Europe, with some countries leading the way in industries like solar, biopharmaceuticals, wireless communications and open source, presents a very compelling region for Venture Capital. Nonetheless, market regulation, and even more a certain cultural approach towards new investments are challenges slowing down that potential.
Simon Cook recently gave this data-packed presentation to a European Venture Capital Association (EVCA) conference. It does a great job of comparing the US and European venture capital industries and makes the case that Europe has all the fundamentals in place for a great decade going forward. The most important of these are a strong base of innovation, low supply of venture capital (normalized for GDP), an increasing number of serial entrepreneurs, an increasing number of experienced funds and VCs, more capital efficient companies, and a growing number of successful exits.
There is, of course, a long way to go and this is no time for complacency, and for one thing we still don’t have enough large indigenous tech companies here, as I wrote yesterday. That said I feel confident the next ten years will be the time when European venture capital finally comes of age, and that is good news as much for the startups that take investment as for the funds themselves.