Unpacking the European VC playbook with Frederic Court and Luciana Lixandru | StrictlyVC London

Unpacking the European VC playbook with Frederic Court and Luciana Lixandru | StrictlyVC London

European Tech Ecosystem

  • Sequoia Capital and Felix Capital discussed their experiences as venture capitalists in Europe.
  • Despite market cycles, both investors remain enthusiastic about investing in mission-driven founders who are passionate about solving problems.
  • Europe has strengths in decarbonization, data confidentiality, AI, and creative talent.
  • Attracting and retaining talent in the UK is challenging due to visa restrictions and competition from continental Europe.
  • Many successful AI companies in Silicon Valley have European founders or leaders.
  • There is a growing trend of European founders and leaders staying in Europe and building successful AI companies there.
  • Examples of successful European AI companies include Dust and Robco.
  • Hardware startups face challenges in terms of economies of scale and supply chain management.
  • Robotics is a promising area for European startups due to the strong robotics research and manufacturing base in Europe.
  • Clara is a successful example of a European tech company.
  • Europe needs more success stories in the tech sector to create a more vibrant public market and attract talent.

Investment Opportunities

  • Investing in defense companies is an opportunity due to increased defense budgets in Europe.
  • Building a defense company is difficult and requires founders with the right market fit and the ability to communicate with buyers in the same language.
  • AI is still a promising sector for investment, with many opportunities in Europe and the UK.
  • Founders matter more than sectors when it comes to investment decisions.
  • OpenAI's recent controversy involving Scarlett Johansson's voice highlights the potential risks associated with foundational models.
  • There is excitement about the consumer applications of AI, particularly in areas such as personalization and curation.
  • The discourse around differences in ambition between European and US founders is outdated, as there are many ambitious European founders building large companies.
  • Role models and successful public companies in Europe have helped to inspire and support ambitious founders.

Market Conditions

  • Investors are waiting to see how central banks will respond to economic conditions and adjust interest rates.
  • The frequency of interest rate discussions in partnership discussions is low.
  • The focus is on the company's fundamentals and readiness for going public.
  • Sequoia Capital takes a long-term view of investments, holding positions long after companies go public.
  • The past few years have shown that macro factors matter, but the focus remains on what can be controlled.
  • There was a misconception that venture capital was easy and making money was simple due to the abundance of money.
  • Sequoia Capital does not spend time thinking about interest rates and instead focuses on the founder.

Overwhelmed by Endless Content?