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European fintechs "shocked" how much worse US engineers are

If you work in fintech, chances are you want a job in the US. Ecosystems like New York and San Francisco are home to some of the largest fintechs in the industry but, from a talent perspective, the people there might be subpar.

At the 2023 Sifted Summit, a panel featuring venture capitalists from US based VC firms discussed why they want in on Europe. For panelists Alex Ferrara, partner at Bessemer Ventures and Ritika Pai, principal at Iqoniq Growth, one of the top things Europe has is engineering talent. 

“There’s such exceptional teams of talent in software and enterprise software,” said Pai. Ferrara agreed, saying “Central and Eastern Europe have strong product and engineering teams for infrastructure.”

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This talent gap is shocking to European fintech founders. Ferrara said one founder of a company he invested in was expanding to the US and was “shocked at the difference in the caliber of the engineers he was hiring in the US, Europe was way better.” He does note however that sentiment does not extend to marketing and salespeople.

So why not just build fintechs exclusively in Europe? There are some things the US does better. Ferrara says US startups are “head and shoulders better in terms of user interface and user security.” He also notes that the compensation structure in Europe is lacking, particularly in regard to employee option grants. Ferrara says, “you want to have employees have an equity culture and feel involved in the company.”

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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