The venture outlook in Europe is about as bright as it’s been since the go-go dot-com days, with Europe-based venture firms raising more than $2.2 billion in the second quarter alone of this year – more than two times what they raised in the first quarter and 30 percent more than what European VCs had collected by the same time in 2014.
Partly, such enthusiasm for the asset class owes to numerous billion-dollar-plus exits last year, including the British property site Zoopla, and the online restaurant delivery company Just Eat.
As many VCs will happily tell you, Europe is also now home to a growing number of privately held companies with billion-dollar valuations, including the streaming music service Spotify and the ride-sharing company BlaBlaCar.
But it isn’t all rainbows and kittens for Europe-based VCs. There still isn’t enough early-stage capital for all the interesting companies being created, and while maturing startups are finally getting scaling capital from the likes of DST Global, Tiger Capital Management, and Insight Venture Partners, Europe still has a long ways to go in order to catch up with the U.S.
At Disrupt London, we’ll sit down with top investors to find out just how healthy the scene really is — and how long they expect the good times to last. Featured guests include:
* Eileen Burbridge, who worked at numerous prestigious U.S. companies, including Apple, Yahoo, and Sun Microsystems before moving to London, launching Passion Capital with two cofounders, and becoming one of London’s most influential VCs in the process.
* Klaus Hommels, the Zurich-based founder of Lakestar, whose very long line of big hits includes Skype, Facebook, and Spotify, as well as such highly valued, still-private companies as Airbnb and the shaving products company Harry’s.
* Sonali De Rycker, a Goldman Sachs-analyst turned career venture capitalist, with seven years under her belt as a partner with Atlas Venture and another seven years (and counting) as a general partner at Accel Partners.
* Laurel Bowden, a longtime partner at 83 North, which she joined in 2008 after working as a principal at GE Equity and a general partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners. Bowden specializes in software and fin tech and has made some killer bets, including backing Just Eat, which raised roughly $89 million altogether from investors and currently enjoys a $2.8 billion public market valuation.
We’re exceedingly happy to welcome each of these power players to Disrupt London, held at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park December 7th and 8th. We hope to see you there, too.