For a few months now, I keep hearing from investors, bankers and startup CEOs that the Nasdaq is passé, and companies are increasingly going public on European markets. Of course the big culprits are new regulations like Sarbanes Oxley, not to mention the paucity of analysts covering small companies.
But I figured mostly these where whiney companies that badly needed cash or an acquisition currency and couldn't cut it in a Nasdaq roadshow. That or legitimately promising companies, like TrollTech, that happen to have European roots.
But today's European liquidity numbers from Dow Jones/VentureOne may prove there really is some sort of European flight in motion. There were 31 IPOs of venture backed companies in the second quarter-- the most in one three-month period since the heady days of 2000. Twenty of them were tech companies. In fact that's more than European markets' annual totals for 2001, 2002, 2003 and just shy of the annual total for 2004. And the dollar amount raised was up 75% from the second quarter of last year.
Meanwhile, back in the states there were only 19 venture backed IPOs during the same period. Makes you wonder...