Late-stage capital is having a ‘cascading effect’ on European VC activity

Capping off our dig into the early-stage venture capital market, we’re taking a quick look at Europe this morning. Previously, The Exchange tucked into the United States’ early-stage market for startup capital, uncovering startups using abundant seed capital to get more done before raising a Series A, while others were using pedigree, team and market size to accelerate their first lettered raise.

For both cohorts, it appeared that a rapid-fire Series B could be in the offing, with VCs looking to get capital into winners early.

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The Latin American venture capital market for early-stage startups had a number of similar hallmarks. That shouldn’t have been surprising. According to Seth Pierrepont, a partner at London-based Accel, “fundraising dynamics are now no longer U.S.- or European-specific — they’re global.” Fundraising over videoconferencing services like Zoom has done more than make geographical distances less impactful inside of countries — it’s even made national borders and even oceans less meaningful.

Is the European startup market similar to what we’ve seen in Latin America and the United States — a cognate for the North American venture capital scene, given its outsized global weight by round count and amount invested?

Largely, yes, a trend that appears to be shaking up prices and the talent wars. This morning, we’re taking a final look at the early-stage venture capital market, this time through a European lens, with an assist from a few investors from the continent.

An influx of late-stage capital

Broadly, early-stage venture capital rounds in Europe are happening “earlier and are larger in size,” according to Draper Esprit’s Vinoth Jayakumar, an investor based in London. The correlate of larger rounds being raised while startups are younger is valuation expansion, according to Jayakumar, who said that prices are going up “because larger rounds are very dilutive to founders if done at normal — or in this case too low — valuations.”