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  • Writer's pictureChris Holscher

Not a mystery

Alarm signal: Speedinvest study says that 84% of European(!) Investors find European #unicorns overpriced vs. such in the US.

Good news first: Foreign investment still flows into European startups for it's advantages in educational systems, talent pool, etc. Find the original report here:

But a 84% "overpriced" verdict is a shocker.

Beyond the known systemic factors (e.g. fragmented support landscape) some 49% of respondents point to startups' #managementquality as key to the issue.

That's some tough love.

Comparing the statement to 20 years of my own experience I admit to agree. Any solution brilliance fades away where business savviness is lower than at your competitors.

And that's where European founders often under-estimate their US peers - or accept it as mystical fact.

But it is not_a_mystery!

It goes beyond knowing customers' actual decision-makers, beyond producing the best RFQ responses and beyond nailing vendor pitches... Or solution-fit... or price... And it's not about paying the right "influencer"...

Demystifying part 1 of 3

The #b2btech decision-making game involves parts of the playing field that are less commonly understood in Europe compared to the US:

>> In 3 of 4 strategic decisions on b2b technology and services the primary impact on shortlisting and buying is related to vendor's evaluations and recommendations by independent industry analysts.

(Not talking pay-2-play fake analyst reports - but those who build their own market value on fierce impartiality.)

Whether you like it or not:

Industry analyst reputation cannot be purchased like a bit of marketing automation on your website.

Demystifying part 2 of 3

It can only be earned over time:

>> With in-depth briefings, and many off-the-record inquiries and discussions.

>> By explaining your thinking based on data, open where it hurts, and sober where others over-promise.

Investors like a16z or Sierra or Sapphire recommend engaging with IAs early and strategically.

Demystifying part 3 of 3

Hence, demonstrating that you're using this part of the playing field, with established analyst relations, does boost your investor attractiveness.

>> Because it reduces their risk.

>> And it unlocks strategic opportunities earlier.

I can get you a lot of data and experience on this matter.

First advice:

Get up to speed way before(!) it becomes a checkbox on your next investor's requirements list. So that you stand out when it matters.

Timing is everything.


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