LoveFilm, the “Netflix of Europe”, was recently acquired by Amazon for $312 million. Great outcome, right?Not according to William Reeve, one of the co-founders and the former COO of the company, Real Deals Europe reports.
Reeve says he left LoveFilm in 2008 because he wanted it to “take the fight” to Netflix and the US, but the company’s VCs were too afraid to do it.
It’s true that most European VCs are much more risk-averse than their Silicon Valley counterparts, and many European startups are quicker to sell to American competitors than to try to build global leadership for themselves.
It’s tragic because as Skype, Betfair, Vente Privée and others show, there’s no reason Europe can’t build winning, global businesses.
Netflix is one of the most successful and well-run tech companies today, so Lovefilm beating them on their own turf is by no means a foregone conclusion. But it would’ve been better for the European tech ecosystem — and perhaps their shareholders — if they’d given it a shot.
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