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.
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. …
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. …
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.
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):