Welcome to the most comprehensive
data-driven analysis of European technology
We could not have created this report without our generous sponsors, an incredible set of data partners, and thousands of people in the region who have shared their insights. Thank you.
It’s been another record year for investment in European tech and the sector is powering growth in Europe’s stagnant economy. Yet not everyone is benefitting from the boom. The gains are not being democratized by investors. Companies need to address diversity and inclusion tools and unlock hidden talent pools.
Record sums invested in Europe’s technology ecosystem- $23bn in 2018 up from just $5bn in 2013.
tech ipos companies
4 x $5B
There were four tech IPOs or direct listings of European tech companies in 2018 that reached valuations of more than $5B on opening day, including Europe’s largest ever venture-backed publicly-listed tech company, Spotify. In total, Europe contributed three of the top 10 largest tech IPOs globally of 2018.
93% of all funds raised by European VC-backed companies went to all-male founding teams in 2018.
Almost half of women reported that they have experienced discrimination in the European tech sector. This is a point of clear tension with the 75% of respondents who think the culture at their European startup is inclusive. In European tech, discrimination appears to be someone else’s problem.
Source: The State of European Tech Survey, 2018
tech industry growth
Europe’s tech (software) industry is growing 5x faster than the rest of the European economy in terms of Gross Value Added, a level that has accelerated in recent years.
The European tech workforce grew 4% in 2018 (source: LinkedIn), a significant difference to overall EU employment growth of 1.1%.
Source: European Commission
pension fund investment
Pension funds are not yet democratising Europe’s tech sector boom - over the last five years, pension funds have invested just $1.7B in European VC, but have invested 45x more in European buyout funds, equivalent to more than $75B over that period.
European tech growth and record success has not gone unnoticed by family offices and high net-worth individuals (HNWs). Over the last five years they have invested over $5bn in European venture capital funds. Only government agencies have invested more in European VC in that same period.
Source: Invest Europe
Europe’s ecosystem is more distributed and more interconnected than ever - there are now 5.7m professional developers in Europe, up by 200,000 on 2017. This compares to the 4.4m in the US, a number that stayed flat year on year.
Source: Stack Overflow
emerging tech hubs
Still more European tech hubs will emerge. Cities such as Cologne, Warsaw and Vienna all have larger developer populations than Stockholm and active local tech communities, but have yet to attract as much investment. In fact, there are 15 European cities with professional developer populations of 50,000+ that have seen less than $1B in total capital investment since 2013.
Source: Stack Overflow, Meetup
European $B+ companies founded in the past 15 years, including a record 17 new companies that first surpassed the milestone in 2018. Europe has also now produced 12 companies with a $5B+ valuation, of which 5 have grown to more than $10B.
Two companies founded in the 2000s had reached $B+ by 2008. Compare that to 31 founded in the 2010s that reached that milestone by 2018 - an increase of 15.5x. Where will the 2010s end up by 2028?
Key figures for:
Investment trends in 2018
# of rounds
Largest Tech Communities
# countries with a $B+ company
It truly has been a great year for Europe.