European venture capital investment topped €4.56bn last year – the highest annual total since 2002 – according to the latest research from Dow Jones VentureSource. However, the volume of deals fell for the sixth consecutive year – just 897 deals were completed, ten per cent below that of the previous 12 months. “It is a just a sign of the times in Europe,” said VentureSource’s Jessica Canning. “With a sputtering IPO market and mergers and acquisitions hard to come by, only the most viable of European companies are winning over venture capitalists. “At the same time, investors are equipping these promising companies with the capital they need to compete globally and to best position them for a liquidity event.” This week, technology entrepreneur and co-founder of lastminute.com, Brent Hoberman (pictured above), launched his new online furnishing business, mydeco.com, backed reportedly by the largest seed round for a European online start-up. Lesson for entrepreneurs: think big. Related story: Mydeco: Brent Hoberman goes softRelated story: Your cameraphone just got smarter
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