Europe Is the New Frontier for Venture Capitalists

Over the years, venture capitalists have focused on the U.S and Asia markets. However, these investors are now turning to Europe. Promising tech outfits are being sought out in Western Europe by Google, Microsoft, Intel and salesforce.com. Mobile payment firms, cloud software makers, game and data mappers are just of the outfits being eyed.

But what sparked this interest in the European market, which is not particularly popular for game-changing innovation? A major reason is that it is cheaper for startups in London, Berlin or Paris, compared to the U.S. Major companies eyeing the market will benefit from well-educated talent as well as fresh and new ideas, all at a lower price than in the U.S.

Also, venture capital is quite scarce in Europe, all thanks to the dot-com bust. Startups are therefore waiting earnestly for American money to help in scaling up and going global. According to John Somorjai, he has never seen more innovation being a product of Europe, as is the case currently. John runs Salesforce Ventures. In October, he made an announcement of a $100 million commitment in Europe.

Over the years, European startups were committed to serving local markets, with slow scaling and taking years to achieve sales worth 100 million euros. Venture capitalists believe that it should take five years to hit such a target. A case in point is Xing. Xing is considered to be the German version of LinkedIn. Despite never getting traction, Xing still exists. However, most professional Germans prefer using LinkedIn.

Highland Capital is globally renown venture capital firm. Based in Dallas, Texas, the firm manages hedge funds as well as structured investment funds. The firm was founded in 1993 and has grown to place offices in London, New York and Singapore. The firm has over $18 billion in assets under its management.

James Dondero, a successful hedge fund manager, is a co-founder and President of Highland Capital Management. Jim’s experience spans over 30 years in the credit as well as equity markets. His main focus of management has been high yield and distressed investing. Mr. Dondero sits on the board of directors in various companies and is actively involved in philanthropy.

Jim graduated with the highest honors from the University of Virginia, the McIntire School of Commerce. He has also gone ahead to receive the right for the use of the Certified Financial Analyst designation.

The original article can be found here.

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