This week we were exploring capital raising for European tech firms. My colleague Dan Robertson has written the review.
Jean-Michel Deligny is a managing director at the technology focused Silverpeak Investment bank. Silverpeak is a 45+ person strong boutique investment bank. Jean highlights the advantages in being a smaller, more dynamic team. Starting a career in this kind of organisation places someone nearer the decision makers than would be the case in a large institution.
Specifically regarding the European venture capital industry, there continues to be strong growth in the number and value of deals completed. Examples of European tech companies funded through venture capital include household names such as Deliveroo and Spotify. In the European market, the UK remains the dominant destination for tech financing, receiving 35% of the European market for funding bigger than £10m. Jean also pointed out the allure of Sweden, which receives an impressive 4% of European funding, despite its small population. Jean believes it’s one of the biggest tech countries in Europe per capita, notably being the home of Spotify.
Currently, Jean wonders weather the European Venture capital industry may be in a bubble, with lots of capital competing to discover the next unicorn company.
However, on the other side of the equation, the FANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google) are not engaging in as many acquisitions as over the last few years, due to regulatory issues concerning weather this companies have too much power.
Jean also highlighted the issues in valuing tech companies due to limited cashflows and profitability. Prices being paid appear expensive compared to non-tech companies, in some cases ten times a company’s present revenue.
Finally Jean also considered the future of the VC sector and whether new technology will enable (or force) the industry to be more open and transparent. There was also a lively discussion afterwards, that spilled out into the bar!
We thank Jean for a very interesting talk regarding an exciting sector of high risk but huge upside if the next big company is discovered at an early stage.