U.S. startups have traditionally had access to far higher levels of investment, giving them a head start when it comes to research and development and making it easier to attract to its shores the very best talent.
Yet the arms race is becoming closer. According to Dow-Jones VentureSource, the second quarter of 2014 saw over €2.1 billion ($2.4 billion at the current conversion rate) raised by European startups — the highest quarterly total since 2001. (For comparison’s sake, the figure for U.S.-based startups in that period was $13.8 billion.)
Encouraged by the success of European tech firms such as Shazam and Transferwise — both of which made valuations of billion dollars in early 2015 — more U.S. money is crossing the pond.
There is also an increasing confidence in investors that Europe has the talent pool to thrive, and there has not been an irreparable “brain drain” to Silicon Valley.