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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American venture capitalists are investing record sums in European startups, setting themselves up to repatriate returns.

By the numbers: European deal value with U.S. VC participation hit €50.8 billion over the first three quarters of 2021, per PitchBook.

  • A record 21.2% of European deals in 2021 had at least one U.S. investor on board, up from 17% in 2020 and 15% in 2019.

The big picture: Europe's venture market has matured, enticing Silicon Valley firms like Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners to open local offices.

  • "This is in some ways what we’ve been waiting for," says Moonfire Ventures' Mattias Ljungman, who co-founded famed European VC firm Atomico with Skype's Niklas Zennstrom in 2006. "This is making the ecosystem better."
  • European VCs I spoke with at Web Summit this week in Lisbon, Portugal, were all positive about the U.S. influx, largely because it means more follow-on capital.
  • "The strength of the U.S. is more specialized investors that can be helpful," Northzone Ventures general partner Michiel Kotting explains.

Yes, but: The Europeans still seem to feel like they have an edge in early-stage investing.

  • When everyone was investing via Zoom, "the playing field was level," said Kotting, but it's shifted back to in-person investing over the last couple of months, giving VCs who are based in Europe an advantage.

Flashback: It remains to be seen if things will be different than two decades ago, when many U.S. firms landed in Europe, only to leave after realizing they couldn't successfully compete with the locals.

The bottom line: European VCs aren't worried about Americans taking a bigger piece of the pie, so long as the pie itself is growing.

Go deeper

Nov 23, 2021 - World

Top EU China critic: German companies act as "lobbyists" for Beijing

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images

The leader of the European Parliament's first official delegation to Taiwan says the EU is slowly waking up to the threat posed by the Chinese government — but is held back by companies, particularly in Germany, that act as "lobbyists" for Beijing.

Driving the news: Raphaël Glucksmann, a French human rights activist who has quickly become one of Europe's most influential voices on China, told Axios in a wide-ranging interview that he is seeking to "break the taboo inside the European institutions" on engaging with Taiwan.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.