Risky Business

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IN THE DEN: The dragons and BBC economics editor Davis, center

Thursday, Nov 10, 2005
Europe's sleepy venture-capital scene got a jolt last month when eBay completed its $2.5 billion acquisition of Luxembourg's Internet phone company Skype. Investors who had shelled out about $25 million in less than two years to buy into Skype pocketed around $1 billion from the deal, venture-capital sources say. The practice of investing in risky startups has long been regarded as a largely American way of doing business. But the windfall that descended on Skype's investors and its Swedish and Danish founders has many Europeans asking, "How can I get some?"