Talk to startup founders around the world and you’ll probably notice a pattern: US-based entrepreneurs, particularly those in Silicon Valley, consider fundraising a lot less of a problem than their counterparts in Europe.
Silicon Valley is the startup world’s mecca, and it’s no surprise that the world’s most prominent VC firms call Sand Hill Road home. But European entrepreneurs looking for capital received some good news last week as Index Ventures announced a new €350m fund with a European focus.
According to Index Ventures partner Danny Rimer, approximately two-thirds of the new fund is earmarked for European investments, with a focus on cities Index has been active in previously — Berlin, London and Stockholm.
Although Rimer and his colleagues may invest some of their new capital into existing portfolio companies, they’re most interested in discovering promising new early-stage startups that haven’t raised money from Index yet. Given the startup boom of the past several years, you’d think that wouldn’t be too difficult, but that’s not the case in Europe says Rimer.
“You have to find the companies yourself, looking under every rock. You cannot expect the best companies and entrepreneurs to come your way. It’s much more proactive sourcing [in Europe],” he told TechCrunch.
Which is why entrepreneurs in Europe probably don’t want to get too excited about Index’s new fund — at least not yet. A 2009 Index fund that the venture capital firm expected to use to invest heavily in European startups saw a “much higher percentage of deals in the U.S” than had been expected. Index Ventures partner Mike Volpi told Fortune that a number of factors contributed to this, including a burgeoning startup scene in New York.
That serves as an unfortunate reminder for entrepreneurs in Europe: even though firms say they are interested in finding the next big thing in Europe, when push comes to shove, most aren’t actually going to look under every rock in search of it.
Even in today’s market, where too much money is still miraculously chasing too few startups, the really easy money — both for investors and entrepreneurs — remains a Silicon Valley exclusive.