Ben Rooney just posted an analysis of VC and entrepreneurial activity in Europe which included the two charts above. They confirm that the US is still meaningfully ahead of UK in terms of VC dollars invested per head, but show that we are closer in terms of number of VC funded companies per head. I see this as a good sign. You have to have the companies before you can invest lots of money in them so hopefully the number of companies funded per head is the lead indicator and the gap in funding per head between Europe and the US will start to close.
That will only happen if the quality of the companies is high enough. Anecdotally I think the gap there is beginning to narrow too.
The two other interesting things to note from this data are:
- That the UK continues to be the main centre for investment in Europe
- That Sweden is doing amazingly well for a small country (emulating Israel)