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Since 2014, European tech companies have IPO’d at rates far exceeding that of US tech companies – European markets, like London’s AIM, are structured to support tech listings of all sizes, and Europe’s public market investors back them. But as Europe has stretched its lead with smaller caps, 2018 also heralded the arrival of a series of long awaited, high profile listings, all well in excess of $1bn in market cap, and a surge of Fintech companies on public markets. European tech has arrived, and whether they’re valued in tens of millions or tens of billions, they bust the myths about European tech with each new listing.
The advantage of European startups is that they have an aptitude for complexity in their DNA. This comes from looking at various markets, making sure their intellectual property is protected internationally, and approaching customers with a multicultural focus. The nimbleness of European startups - which comes from not having as much capital chasing them as U.S. startups - has also taught them well what the essentials of their business are and how to be customer facing.
European founders need to adopt a moonshot mentality if they are to build the next Google or Amazon. There is no playing it safe. As a founder you need to show investors that you're passionate, that you have the drive to make it happen, and that you understand the market from a global perspective. Don’t obsess about building the perfect product – start shipping, and figure things out as you go. Lastly, the best founders will have a strong sense of purpose and a vision that guides their company through the difficult moments – there will be many!