Thursday, April 28, 2022

Can EU governments pick unicorns to close gap with US and China?

New report from the EC focusses on the number of unicorns which are thought to be a metric of innovation, the primary driver of growth.  The chart above shows that US (red) and China (pink) way ahead and growing faster than EU (blue), which updates the chart below (2013-2017).
  • To catch up, the EC suggests that "governments should play a role in the supply of venture capital, establishing funds to invest in larger deals ... that private sector VCs avoid.
  • Interestingly, much of the private VC funding in the EU comes from the US and China
BOTTOM LINE:  
  • Hubris:  Why do EU bureaucrats think they can pick winners more accurately than venture capitalists?  
  • Selection bias:  Don't they realize that investments that VC's avoid are more likely to lose money?
  • However, I do like the humility of one caveat in the EC report.  
    • "... our analysis recognises that simply increasing the supply of finance will not be effective unless there will be also an effort to increase entrepreneurial activity, both technology start-ups and growth businesses."

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