Investment rate falls

This month’s venture capital special report – see page 31 onwards – is timely. Early stage investors are largely welcoming a return to normality post bubble thanks to realistic valuations and plenty of opportunities, which are, overall, proving to be of a higher calibre than last year. While the majority of early stage investors appear to bemoan the lack of seed capital available in Europe it’s not clear that there is a mismatch between supply and quality demand especially since the constitent of seed capital investors has widened in recent months – see page 46 onwards.

Another noteable change in the private equity arena in the last quarter has been the tremendous fall off in private equity recruitment. This is in part attributable to the fact that many houses which had a recruitment requirement when, for example, expanding geographically have met those needs. However, private equity recruitment consultants maintain that the calibre of people being sought has sky rocketed and that, as a consequence of this and reduced demand for new recruits, becoming a venture capitalist is as hard now as it was in the late 1990s. See page 51 onwards.