I wrote earlier this week about Partech splitting up and how some considered this an indictment of the transatlantic venture capital model. Considering the Partech situation as the death knell for VC firms that simultaneously operate on both sides of pond would be a vast exaggeration, although it does exemplify some of the obvious difficulties facing those in similar situations. Granted the model may not be possible for many to execute, and many of it’s benefits could be gained from co-investing with another VC firm(s) from a given geographical area that will be attractive for the portfolio company’s future (anyone who participated in this years VCIC in London will remember how this point was mentioned multiple times with regards to the Brit company that wanted to expand in the US), it still can make sense though for some.
Here’s an interesting read from Max Bleyleben of Kennet from his Technofile Europe blog (Max went to INSEAD but we won’t hold that against him!) on how to succeed across the Atlantic. I particularly think his first reason for why certain funds have failed is on the mark. Having separate funds is bound to generate disagreements from teams in different locales and presents an extra difficulty in attempting to maintain any sense of unity. I have no idea of what happened at Partech beyond what I’ve read but I would suspect that the decision to split was due to something along those lines. That being said, it would make for an excellent case study for the club (and there’s the added bonus that partners from both sides of Partech are HEC MBA alums).