By Mike Reid
SuperVenture was full of insights a few weeks ago. It was a great opportunity to meet with peers from the European Venture ecosystem and discuss themes that are emerging through 2019 and into next year.
Here are my top 5 take-aways:
1 | The SoftBank Effect
Large quoted investors (pension funds, asset managers, sovereign wealth funds etc) are realising that successful private tech companies are staying private much longer, and that they are missing out.
2 | PE loves tech (or does it, really?)
Mainstream generalist PE is adopting Tech as fresh growth strategy. This is mostly ‘lipstick’ as most PE firms want to buy cash cows that they can leverage up. And leveraging they are! Ratios are at all time highs. Specialist sector and operational tech PE firms will win out.
3 | Operational support reduces risk
VC’s need to learn more from PE, and invest in operational support for scale-up CEOs. Europe won’t have enough Unicorns to feed all the early stage VCs, so a higher proportion of VC backed companies needed to succeed to deliver the returns. Take a look at the scale-up methodology we’ve developed with our network over the past 12 months.
4 | AI will is going to be big, but…
It’s currently over-hyped. It’s the new Big Data (hopefully not the new CleanTech). Every plan seems to have AI in it. You really need to know your AI from your Machine Learning to avoid getting sucked in.
5 | Senior scale-up Tech Talent
Finding the best people will continue to be a major bottleneck. This will mean scale-ups will originate from many varied locations, not just the major European centres.
About the author
Mike launched Frog in 2009, after seven years in industry and 12 years at 3i. He represents Frog on the boards of Rated People, SHE Software and Modulr.