According to the article, the number of European companies successfully raising seed-stage funding has increased 600 percent in the last five years. The median size of Series A rounds is steadily increasing. European exits are accelerating in volume from Helsinki and London to Madrid and Berlin.
Also, the volume of seed-stage deals has accelerated significantly in the past few years across both regions with the US increasing by 85 percent between 2009-2013 to over 2,000 seed-stage deals and the EU increasing almost six-fold to over 900 deals per year.
The authors indicate that the median amount invested at seed stage in the U.S. doubled between 2009 and 2014 to $500,000. In Europe, on the other hand, it decreased every year between 2010 and 2013 to $150,000. The first eight months of 2014 saw this increase to a much healthier $300,000 (driven by larger seed deals in Sweden and Germany), but the dataset is too small to conclusively indicate a broader upward trend.
In other words, for most of the past five years, seed-stage companies in Europe were under-capitalized relative to their U.S. competitors. This could imply that European founders are building businesses with only one-third the potential of their transatlantic counterparts, but we would strongly disagree with that assumption.
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