I'm off to Europe today for a week of board meetings and vacation. It has become a bit of a tradition in our family to spend some time in europe every summer. Last summer we spent close to six weeks in europe in four countries. This summer it will be only one week in two countries.
USV now has a significant european portfolio. We have five companies in our portfolio that were started in europe and another four or five with significant operations in europe. Seven of our portfolio companies have job openings in London right now (a total of 20 job openings). There are fifteen job openings in Berlin (all with our portfolio company SoundCloud).
I've written about the Internet startup sector in Europe a fair bit. I'm bullish on the Internet startup sector all over the world but Europe is closer to NYC than most of the rest of the world, both in terms of how long it takes to get there and also in terms of culture, language, and a host of other things that matter in the relationship between entrepreneur and investor.
We don't have an office in Europe and we can't be on top of everything that is happening there. We are more reactive in our European investments than proactive. SoundCloud is a good example. I first met the team at LeWeb in 2008. We missed on the first VC round and didn't get involved until after we'd met with the team three or four times over a couple years.
Europe will likely never be a larger percentage of our portfolio than it is now (between 10-15% by names and dollars). But it is a place where interesting companies are getting started. And I'm eager to get over there and take the pulse of things.
I'll be blogging as usual. It might be lighter than usual. We'll see.