Image for post
Image for post
A startup from Barcelona, London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam.

More and more foreign VC funds are taking a closer look at startups in Europe, but judging them by the same standards and patterns as in the US might lead to overlooking great European companies whose businesses and traction might look different, even at a similar stage in their growth trajectory.

While there are generally more similarities than differences, here are a few ways that a breakout startup in Europe might look different from a breakout startup in the US.

1. Solving European problems

Just because you can’t relate to the problem, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Europe is a unique and fragmented place, differences in currencies, languages, laws and consumer behaviour all create uniquely European problems that startups look to solve. Transfers between currencies (TransferWise, Revolut), car pooling (BlaBlaCar), buying train tickets (Trainline, Omio); these ideas may not be very interesting in the US but certainly are in Europe and have spawned billion dollar businesses. …


Image for post
Image for post
American tourists trying to not get lost in Europe’s startup ecosystems

European tech continues to grow and grow while spreading more evenly across the continent. Dealroom data shows the number of European unicorns founded outside of the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden quickly increasing and even smaller towns are seeing early-stage activity pick up. It’s fair to say that the next great European company can come from anywhere, and is more likely than ever to not come from one of the more established hubs. VCs need to adapt to this new reality.

VC funds who are looking to invest in Europe can no longer just sit in an office in Mayfair and wait for founders to come knocking. The best founders from across the continent are now starting their businesses and raising their first rounds without leaving home and competition to invest in the best companies (from Europe and abroad) is fiercer than ever. VCs need to figure out how to cover Europe to find and meet the entrepreneurs where they are, or miss out. …


Image for post
Image for post

This is an email we sent out to the Kima portfolio founders to recap 2017 and introduce the new companies in the portfolio.

Dear Kima founders,

Last year was another very busy year for the Kima portfolio and team, keeping up the pace of 2 new investments per week, so we wanted to briefly update you on everything that happened in 2017.

💯 new seed investments!

Since the start of 2017, we have closed 100 new seed investments that we’d like to welcome to the Kima family.

A few metrics (for 01/2017–12/2017):

  • New startups invested in: 100
  • Average amount invested per company: $164k (94 of the 100 investments were between $100k and…


This is an email I sent out to the Kima portfolio founders.

Dear Kima founders,

I hope you had a good break over the holidays and are looking forward to what lies ahead in 2018.

It has now been 4.5 years since I started working at Kima Ventures and the time has come for me to move on to something new.

I’ll be leaving you in the very capable hands of Alexis, Eléonore, Jean and Rose who I know will continue to do an excellent job managing Kima going forward and continue to find new and better ways to support you as you build your companies. …


Image for post
Image for post

This is an email we sent out to the Kima portfolio founders to recap 2016 and introduce the new companies in the portfolio.

Dear Kima founders,

We hope you’ve all had a happy holiday and are looking forward to what lies ahead in 2017.

As we always enjoy reading your updates, we also wanted to briefly update you on what’s been going on at Kima Ventures in 2016.

112 new seed investments

Since September 2015 (when Jean joined us and we relaunched Kima) we’ve closed 112 new seed investments that we’d like to welcome to the Kima family.

A few metrics (for 09/2015–12/2016):

  • New startups invested in


Image for post
Image for post

tl;dr we’ve closed the separate Kima15 offer and application as it was causing too much confusion around what Kima Ventures does. We are still actively making new investments (more and faster than ever before) and companies can continue to apply for early-stage funding from $100,000 to $200,000, at flexible terms, with Kima leading or following, directly on our website.

A few weeks ago, I was at a startup conference in Lisbon and was very pleased to see that Kima Ventures was well known amongst the attendees. …


Image for post
Image for post

Looking for more leads for your consulting business? Startups in accelerators are a great target as they’ve just raised funding and are looking for additional help. Accelerators have mentors who volunteer their time to advise the companies during the programme, if you use this to build an air of authority, you can easily convince these naïve founders that you’re an expert and that they really should be paying you for your advice. …


Image for post
Image for post
Bradley Cooper in Limitless (2011) after taking a fictional nootropic

There are many factors that can help certain startup sectors to thrive in particular countries but an important one is the country’s regulatory environment.

Founders who don’t find a clear and favorable regulatory environment for their business where they are, will quickly look to move to where regulation allows them to succeed (or at least, holds them back less than elsewhere).

As such, governments can use regulation as a way to help build a sustainable advantage for startups in their countries. …


[This is an email we sent out to the Kima portfolio founders to introduce our new team members.]

Dear Kima founders,

It’s been a few months since we sent out our previous update in September to welcome Jean to the team. Since then, we’ve gotten back up to speed and have made over 50 new investments, launched a new tracking tool and expanded our own team.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the two new Associates joining team Kima:

  • Alexis Robert spent the last four years as an entrepreneur, as the cofounder & CTO of ShowMango, a subscription platform for events in London, and PayinTech (previously known as MyBee), a fintech startup in Paris. He joins us in Paris and will be working to identify and evaluate new investments and to build and improve our internal software tools. …


Image for post
Image for post

A few months ago, @chrija polled founders to find out what they considered to be the worst part of raising venture capital funding. The factor that ranked the worst (4.06 on a scale of 5) was “Not knowing where I am in the process”.

At Kima we try to make quick decisions and to always explain our process and the next steps when we meet a company. …

About

Vincent Jacobs

Belgian abroad. ex- @KimaVentures

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store