The episode underlines how some publicly-backed venture firms are stepping up to keep seed money flowing to infant companies in former communist countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary as private investors retreat from the region's nascent startup scene.
Pascal Cagni, who was head of Apple in Europe from 2000 to 2012, said the fund will be used to back entrepreneurs who prove they can survive and excel in the age of the coronavirus.
The start of the pandemic in China resulted in a private investment crisis in that country, as January and February saw a 50-percent drop in venture capital investing in China compared to the rest of the world. Now the investment freeze is moving across Europe and the United States.
At least eight European hedge funds are launching portfolios betting on a recovery in corporate debt and emerging markets after the coronavirus pandemic triggered the biggest market rout in a generation.
European funds will be challenged in the coming months as corporates will be skittish in funding their existing commitments and families and individuals have to put themselves first in managing their own cashflows and this will most certainly lead to lowered valuations and fewer term sheets.
As the COVID-19 outbreak and the seeming failure of governments in the key economies of the U.S., U.K., and Europe to check its spread roil markets globally, some private investors are already scoping out hidden opportunities.
With the UK in such a dominant position, it'll be interesting to see whether Brexit will have a material impact on venture capital activity in the year ahead.
There were hints that the European venture capital ecosystem was booming, but we now have cold, hard data to support them.
Stats showed that nearly half of the total amount invested in U.K. tech came from U.S. and Asian investors. Last year, foreign investors flocked to the U.K. and Europe in search of cheaper valuations amid growing interest in burgeoning areas like fintech.
As European startups raise funding at a record pace, U.S. investors are quietly on the ground hunting for deals--and looking to open new outposts--to get in on the rush.