Screw the Jockey, Bet on the Mafia. There's a saying in venture capital that goes "Bet on the jockey and not on the horse!
" Hence the title! Sarah Lacy wrote a long post about "mafias" and those that ensued once companies such as Google, PayPal and so forth became successful. Feel free to go read it. It's kinda long but worth the time. Nevertheless, here is the paragraph that I feel is the money quote: Or maybe they’re all idealists who want to change the world. The above part of the post and the following section completely summarizes why these "mafias" exist and work: And like Facebook, companies like Asana, Path and Quora are trying to solve problems that are inherently social. When you ask me what I like about venture capital and why I again, no matter how hard I try not to, get jealous about not being in the Valley, it's this. I see a lot of companies come and go. If, as an entrepreneur, you're asking yourself whether you should talk to VC's, think about the above. People will be spending ever more time online. Start-Up 100: The European ecosystem has arrived - or weren't you paying attention?
The 10 Biggest European Startups. AP Images When people in the US think of European startups, they often either think of them as copycats, or as small -- or, often, not at all.
And yes, there are plenty of copycats, and European startups do grow more slowly on average than their US equivalents. But there are also plenty of European startups that are downright huge, and that lead the world in innovation from a product, technology or business model perspective as well as anyone out of Silicon Valley. And there are startups that grow extremely big extremely fast. And there are iconoclast moguls. Here's a cross-section of many of them. 10. Here in Paris, people mention Criteo in hushed, awed tones, talking about the technical caliber of its engineers.
Criteo is an ad retargeting company. Retargeting is hard to pull off technically, had some hype for a while and then fizzled out, but it seems Criteo is the only company that cracked the code. Start-Up 100: What's wrong with European venture capital? Everything That's Wrong With European VCs. Europe does have a thriving startup scene, improving every day.
But it's also undeniable that it's nowhere near the level of the United States in terms of capital, talent or ambition. A great column in The Telegraph by angel investor Richard Titus intelligently points out the few key things that European VCs need to improve on. Here's the key points: Lack of entrepreneurial focus. Top Silicon Valley VCs understand, and most European VCs don't, that the raw material from which startups are made is entrepreneurs. Also shocking: the column relays the well-known story of Lastminute.com co-founder Marta Lane Cox, of whom VCs asked, "So what happens when you get pregnant?
" This is all sadly, sadly true. France Tech scene.
German tech scene. Russian tech scene. Spanish Tech scene. Technology - Skype founders raise $165m for new fund. Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, the founders of Skype, have raised a new venture capital fund for investing in so-called “disruptive” early-stage European technology.
Atomico Ventures, the London-based group established by the pair in 2006, has raised $165m for its second fund, at a time when many venture capital groups are struggling to find investors. The firm will focus on early-stage software and internet companies that have the potential to be “transformative”, said Mr Zennström. That model will be welcomed by British entrepreneurs, who have complained that in the downturn, investors have become more risk averse, making safer bets in later-stage companies. “The type of companies we are looking at are consumer-facing and also small business . . . that do not need to build up sales forces around the world to scale and grow,” Mr Zennström told the Financial Times.
While Atomico will look for opportunities all over Europe, Mr Zennström said that London remained a hub for start-ups. Recent VC deals in Continental Europe.