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The State of European Tech report 2019 is live, and here are the most important findings

Diversity issues, angel money trends, rising hubs & industries… Here are seven picks from the State of European Tech Report 2019 that everyone in the ecosystem needs to know, summarized by the report’s author and Atomico’s Head of Research, Tom Wehmeier.


Tom Wehmeier© Natalya Lobanova

“"We're now five reports in, and have grown into the biggest report on European tech."”

Tom Wehmeier

Partner and Head of Research at Atomico

Back in 2015, Slush and Atomico decided to produce a comprehensive, data-driven report to measure the State of European Tech. Now we’re five reports in and have grown into the biggest report on European tech, thanks to our data partners and the support of Orrick and Slush.

As European tech has scaled, so too has the report. This means there’s a lot of data to go through – the 2019 report holds nearly 400 charts in total. To help you out, I picked out the 7 most important findings that everyone working in European tech should know.

1. Marketing, energy, and food joining the $2 billion capital club

Media often talk about overall investment into European tech, but slice it by industry, and you see the number of industries receiving significant capital is increasing. There are now seven industries that surpass $2 billion capital invested versus only four in 2018. In 2019, marketing, energy, and food joined fintech, enterprise software, transportation and health into the $2 billion club.


2. European founders are starting to share the love (and €€€)

The number of founders who are paying it forward is increasing. In 2019, 21% of angel deals were done by founders, compared to 17% for the period of 2015-2019. This trend clearly shows the maturation of the European ecosystem – successful founders are now giving back, helping drive the next generation of successes.


Graph on angel investments by founders in Europe

3. Women and other underrepresented groups left to clean up the mess. Once again.

The burden of fixing European tech’s diversity issue is disproportionately falling on women and other represented groups who have been excluded from tech in the first place. We asked VCs if they had made any changes to how they have sourced new investment opportunities in the past 12 months. 63% of women VCs told they’ve increased their focus on attending events with stronger participation from diverse founders, compared to just 36% of respondents who are men. This approach – which can be effective – has to be shared more equally if we are to accelerate diversity.


Graph on investor behavior

4. Entrepreneurship – Still not everyone’s business

81% of entrepreneurs were living comfortably before they founded their company, compared to 39% of Europeans who say they are living fairly easily, easily or very easily according to Eurostat. This signals that people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in Europe face financial barriers to becoming an entrepreneur.

Grapgh on founder backgrounds

5. Purpose is driving business (especially in Sweden)

We collected data on purpose-driven companies – companies that we defined were fulfilling one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals through their business. European tech companies have distinguished themselves in being purpose-driven, and some countries stand out. Sweden is undeniably the capital of purpose. It’s home to nearly 10% of purpose-driven tech companies in Europe while accounting for only 4.3% of all European tech companies, a difference of 5.1%.


Graph on purpose driven tech companies

6. New tech hubs, new tech hubs everywhere

Europe continues to see geographic diversity amongst the Top 20 fastest-growing tech hubs by year-on-year growth to tech-related Meetup events. The fastest-growing community in 2019 was Darmstadt, Germany, followed by Iasi, a city in Romania where United State’s tech giant Amazon set up office space.


Graph on new tech hubs in Europe

7. When it comes to regulation, we’re talking past each other

What support do founders want from policymakers? Removal of the day-to-day barriers to scaling that hold them back from going even bigger and faster. Like hiring and incentivizing the best talent or enabling easier and simpler operations across a still fragmented European market. For a European Commission that has been largely focused on taxing US big tech, that’s a signal that there needs to be more dialogue to create the optimal regulatory conditions for continued European tech success.


Graph on what startups want from policymakers



Check out the whole report here! It’s amazing. It’s important. It’s what everyone’s going to be talking about.