Venture capital growing in Europe The life of a European venture capitalist is usually pretty civilized, punctuated by trips to the converted warehouses of London's trendy Silicon Roundabout neighborhood or Berlin's stately Prenzlauer Berg district, where entrepreneurs swap ideas in Vietnamese restaurants and faux-dive coffee shops. Visiting cloud-computing software provider Jelastic, one of his investments, means a flight to Kiev, Ukraine's dusty capital, followed by a 100-mile drive on post-Soviet roads to the provincial town of Zhytomyr - a city best known for its museum of cosmonaut memorabilia. Raised $6.2 billionDespite the region's debt turmoil and economic slowdown, European venture firms raised $6.2 billion last year, an increase of 50 percent over 2010, according to the European Private Equity Venture Capital Association. Roots in PolandSeedcamp's investments include TRData, a Kiev online trading platform, and Codility, a firm with roots in Poland that offers technology companies testing services for prospective programmers. Antwerp's Hummingbird Ventures invested $1 million in Peak in early 2011 and was followed by German venture capital firm Earlybird Ventures, which invested $5 million later the same year. Since that investment, Peak's revenue has multiplied 20 times, a growth rate rarely seen in Germany, said Ciaran O'Leary, a partner at Earlybird. Venture firms face challenges investing in remote countries, including unfamiliar local laws, stock exchanges with little experience in technology listings, varying accounting standards - plus different negotiating styles.