Venture deals are down in Europe but at least one person seems to still have an appetite for the continent’s tech companies: Paypal and Palantir cofounder Peter Thiel.
Funds linked to Thiel did more deals in Europe in 2022 than the year before, according to data from Dealroom — bucking the broader downtick in investment.
Thiel is a partner at four US-based VC firms: Thiel Capital, Valar Ventures, Founders Fund and Mithril Capital.
Across them, deal count in Europe rose 16% between 2021 and 2022. Outside of Europe, the four Thiel-backed funds did 33% fewer deals last year than the year before.
In general, American funds did 2% fewer deals in Europe in 2022 than the year before. Deal count in general in Europe fell 13% year-on-year.
Thiel's European investments bucked the trend in 2022; but the four Thiel-backed funds’ deal count in Europe so far this year is meagre. There’s only been one Thiel-linked investment in 2023 — Valar Ventures’ Series A investment in Berlin-based fintech Mondu.
And European deals still count for a relatively small percentage of the funds’ deals. Since they started investing, the funds have together made 110 deals in Europe — including companies like Spotify and N26 — compared to 826 deals in North America.
Thiel’s not always been a Europhile. Back in 2018, he said he thought there were “no successful tech companies in Europe” — and two years before that he called the continent a “slacker with low expectations”.