Venture Capital Expands in Europe

Google venture capital in EuropeIt has been a long time since the startup industry in Europe expanded. Emerging European companies have not been paid any attention due to their slow scaling, and their home country’s stagnant economy. However, this has all changed. There’s been a large influx of investments in European startups throughout the past year as the world began to recognize the desire to scale to a global level by new European companies. Additionally, venture capital in Europe is far less expensive than it is in the United States and Asia, giving investment companies access to new talent for a fraction of their regular cost.

Corporations that have started to shift their focus over to Europe include and Google. Governments all over Europe are promoting entrepreneurial ventures, and new companies need the capital. For example, Microsoft has not only expanded its venture capital program in Germany, it is also partnering with existing German companies. Google Ventures has infiltrated Europe and the Netherlands as an investor. Both are making money.

These investing corporations are really changing the culture of innovation in Europe. Venture capital declined initially because startups in Europe were known to be stagnant. They did not grow quickly enough and were not aspiring to scale to a global level, being content with scaling only to a regional level, and therefore made money slowly. Only recently, when California firms decided they wanted to expand the scope of their investments, did venture capital firms recognize the potential in young European companies. Google Ventures may have begun this trend when it announced it was opening a venture capital firm in London. They referenced popular companies that had already emerged from Europe, such as SoundCloud, to justify their decision.

Since this is such a new development in the venture capital world, it is difficult to discern the origin and the effects of the European venture capital movement. There exists no clear rationale as to why large companies began investing in European startups, although the why is not as important as what these investments could bring. There is a lot of potential in young European companies, and pouring money into these technology-based businesses could significantly boost Europe’s economy and showcase European technology talent. However, the implications that the venture capital expansion has for the rest of the world are still unknown. The low cost of venture capital in Europe makes it an attractive focus for all venture capital firms, and we will have to see if this has repercussions for startup funding in other, more expensive, parts of the world.

That being said, it is great to see venture capital blooming in Europe. This is an exciting time for venture capital firms and European startups alike, and it will be interesting to see where these blossoming young companies take the tech industry next.

To read more about the venture capital expansion in Europe, check out the Seattle Times.

Venture Capitalist’s Predictions for 2015

Todd-Crosland-venture-capital-trends-2015Venture Capitalist, Sergio Monsalve, predicts 5 trends that will create a large stir in 2015. As companies continue their fast-paced scaling and innovation, below 5 industry trends that Sergio expects to see develop further in 2015.

1)   Watch out for software!  – 2014 saw a lot of mergers and acquisitions for hardware, but Sergio expects that to shift more into software based ventures.   He also predicts that the hardware Internet of things will become more of a commodity. We can already see this in the smart watch industry as FitBit and Apple are becoming more focused on commoditized offerings.

2)   Online education will make major strides – Online education is expected to reach $107 billion by the end of 2015, which represents an increase of 200% in three years. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business is leading the way by announcing their online school for company executives.

3)   A new generation of marketplace will emerge – Emerging marketplaces like Udemy and Minted have the potential to take over last generation’s marketplaces of eBay and Craigslist. Major online marketplaces will continue to make a major dent in the economy and grow at a faster rate, with the potential to surpass Apple and Alibaba.

4)   The NASDAQ will flatline – Multiple people are talking about a bubble that is forming, but Sergio believes that the NASDAQ will stay relatively flat and might even decline a bit. Sergio does believe that there will be quite a bit of volatility in 2015. The IPO standards will be greater to let a little air out of the potential asset bubble.

5)   Indian Startups – 2015 will be a strong year for the digital economy in India. India recently had an election that people are feeling confident about. This paired with their growing technology sector will certainly take advantage of the global digital economy. Venture Capital has increased tremendously in India as venture capitalists are looking globally to find the next big digital market.

Todd Crosland Launches Seed Equity Ventures

Todd Crosland Seed Equity VenturesAugust 19th, 2014 Todd Crosland announced the official launch of his new U.S. Registered Broker-dealer, Seed Equity Ventures. Seed Equity uses an equity-based crowdfunding platform to connect startup companies with venture capital from all over the globe.

Venture capital is fairly limited on a global scale. The majority of venture capital is located in the United States. There are only a couple thousand venture capital firms that control the fate of millions of startups each year. Young entrepreneurs from countries other than the United States are almost forced to move to the US so that they can gain the appropriate funding for their company. Todd Crosland’s vision is to create a global platform so that entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world could easily find each other without having to travel long distances.

On Seed Equity’s platform, startup entrepreneurs are able to share information about their company, run due diligence, apply for funding, and close investment agreements with investors from around the world.

Crowdfunding and global venture capital are surging in today’s startup industry, so Seed Equities launch seems to be coming at a good time. Last year, US investment on equity-based crowdfunding platforms reached $200 million. Analysts say that this number should double this year.

Todd Crosland stresses that Seed Equity Ventures is one of the first equity-based crowdfunding platforms that is focusing globally rather than domestically in the United States. The company currently holds two offices in Salt Lake City and San Francisco, and there are plans in motion to open up a third office in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The platform is backed by a team lead by Clifton Crosland, a Stanford graduate with a degree in computer science. This team helped Todd Crosland gain the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for his efforts in developing Interbank FX, a Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer.