The European Commission has been active on the venture capital front, having invested as much as $1.1 billion into VC funds throughout the Continent thus far in 2015.
VentureBeat reported Monday (Oct. 26) that the investments are part of a continued effort to invigorate and accelerate the region’s technology industry, with an eye on addressing sticky unemployment. In a statement released by Jyrki Katainen, EC vice president for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, the “investment plan for Europe aims at providing the financial instruments that the market is not providing today so that Europe can invest in its future.”
That funding initiative, according to VentureBeat, seeks to mollify complaints from entrepreneurs that funding is tighter in Europe than might be seen in other countries around the globe — so much so that some firms raise anchor and leave Europe, which amounts to what the site called a “talent drain the EC wants to stop.” In stark contrast to the United States, where VC funding is largely a private affair, the activity by the EC shows that, according to VentureBeat, Europeans are relatively more comfortable with the government acting as an investor than might be seen in the U.S.
The $1.1 billion seen year to date comes through agreements that are in place with more than two dozen funds, and TechCrunch states that the ultimate goal is to raise money through leveraging the initial $1.1 billion into another $13.2 billion. Yet, as TechCrunch stated, that might be easier said than done, as statistics from Dow Jones VentureSource noted: 13 VC funds in Europe closed funding activity of $940 million in the third quarter, down 58 percent from the second quarter (that is, on a sequential basis) but up as much as 5 percent from the same quarter in 2014.
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