New job, same amazing colleagues. I am thrilled to share that we have launched our new REMUS brand, and I will be leading the firm’s activities in Europe through our new London office. I will build a transatlantic bridge with my team, which we will leverage together with founders, partners, and friends. As an American VC firm that spun out of MIT over a decade ago, we have been investing in the UK since 2016. Today, I am increasingly excited about the potential of Europe-based startups.
Why are we so excited about the European startup ecosystem?
1. An Impressive Talent Pool
Few people know that there are significantly more STEM graduates across Europe than in the US. I’ve had the privilege to see a wide swath of culturally diverse, sharp-minded people — whether my friends, startup teams we’ve backed, or founders in my network — working together, speaking multiple languages, and promoting diverse thinking.
2. Europe’s Strong Growth
I’m still in my 20s — I care most about continued development and being on a steep trajectory. Most metrics in Europe have seen double-digit growth since the last recession. Even if the 2020 figures might differ, I fundamentally believe in a return to wild growth. From a digitalization perspective, Europe may lag behind some other geographical locations; however, this unharnessed potential and a strong ability to catch up will provide founders with fuel for their ventures.
3. Europe’s Reasonable Cost Base
Starting and operating businesses in Europe is comparatively cost-effective. When hiring developers or renting office space, European startups will spend half or one-third of what their US-based competitors will pay. European founders also raise smaller funding rounds, which allows them to give up less equity and efficiently scale their business to make quick progress.
4. Europe’s Geographic Location and Relative Political Neutrality
Startups in Europe will be allowed to do business with both the US and China and are located optimally in between. European founders are trusted and have an excellent reputation when it comes to compliance, data security, and privacy standards. Thus, startups in Europe are well-positioned to take both domestic and international markets by storm.
5. Europe is a Springboard for Internationalizaton
Increasingly, European startups expand internationally early on, rather than focusing for too long on their home markets. When they do expand, they often break into the US market as a larger opportunity. At REMUS, our intention is to be the best imaginable partner to help founders take this critical leap across the pond.
REMUS’ role in the European startup ecosystem
We’re a global firm
Since its genesis, REMUS has been designed to have a global vantage point that would include our investments, advisers, partners, and own investors. Our experience of a global firm is something we happily share, and we see ourselves as unique transatlantic partners for European founders. For several of our science- and research-backed companies, we’ve helped open doors in the US and Europe and cleverly structured partnerships that benefit our founders, regardless of their location. Thus, we consider ourselves uniquely positioned to help founders in Europe.
We’re a local, university campus player
We believe that a VC firm requires deal flow as much as it requires input from clever, critical, and contrarian individuals. We facilitate this influx through constant engagement with students on campus. REMUS started in a dorm room, similar to a lot of the companies we backed and plan to back. Working with students comes naturally, as several members of our team have recently graduated, and our firm has deep student roots. We maintain those roots with our Campus Associate program (read more HERE). Over a decade of presence on campuses has allowed us to observe how university ecosystems are becoming increasingly entrepreneurial and very sophisticated; indeed, over 40% of UK startups are spin-outs.
As a Cambridge graduate, the REMUS<> Cambridge connection is something I am proud of. I was able to join REMUS while I was still a student: a result of the firm’s close involvement and trust in the ecosystem.
We’re ready to go
We are already taking advantage of the momentum we’ve gained from previous engagement in the UK ecosystem. This week, we announced REMUS’ first UK investment. Spotta completely fits our thesis — it is run by A+ founders, disrupts a sleepy yet massive industry, and leverages proprietary technology based on years of research.
Going forward, we will continue our industry-agnostic investments in early-stage B2B startups. To work more closely with European founders, we set up shop in London with a new, permanent office. I believe co-location will continue to be very important. We look to partner with bright, aspiring entrepreneurs with the goal of building large, sustainable businesses that stand the test of time.
By walking in our founders’ shoes, and as a young and opportunity-driven team, we embrace the entrepreneurial ethos of hustling and adapting. Our long-term horizon gives us the confidence to invest even during challenging times, as we believe in European prosperity in a post-COVID world. (The same positive sentiment applies to the UK ecosystem in a post-Brexit world.) Because we call both Europe and the US our home, we understand cultural differences and strive to create a best-practice environment.
We have continued to invest in the UK over the past few months and will do so going forward. We’re looking for audacious, visionary founders who see opportunity and want us to join them on a 5-10 year journey. Our doors are wide open — please reach out.
To a bright, transatlantic future!