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SOET: This has been the biggest European investment year ever

The State of European Tech 2019 report investigated how the tech ecosystem has progressed during the ending decade.

The first State of European Tech report (SOET) was published in 2015 and has since been manufactured on a yearly basis by Atomico, Slush and Orrick.

This year’s discoveries are mostly gratifying.

The report compared the first half (2010–2014) and the second half (2015–2019) of the decade to get the hang of the evolution.

Here are the big results (money-wise):

The invested money in Europe has grown 232% from $34B to $113B.

The number of mega rounds (as in +$100M rounds) has risen 344%.

The +$100M exits have grown by 94%.

2019 has been the biggest investment year ever. The second quarter of the year broke the record with +$10B and in during the full year Europe made it easily over +$30B. The growth from last year was an astonishing 40%.

Business might be booming, but all is not bright under the startup sun

Unfortunately the diversity situation has not improved despite the increased public conversation on the matter. It’s clear that this problem needs much bigger efforts.

Of 100 dollars, 92 goes to all-male teams. Only one in 12 executives is a woman. Depressingly, as much as 49% of women founders told in the SOET survey that they have experienced discrimination within the last 12 months.

Not having diversity in the tech ecosystem does not only tell sad things of us as humans but is also bad business—diverse groups of people notice new consumer needs and have knowledge from different backgrounds and perspectives to offer.

Founder image is nevertheless crooked

The Silicon Valley inspired school-drop-out-with-no-shoes-stereotype of a startup founder is not quite precise.

Median age for an European founder is actually 34.

The SOET survey reveals that 75% of founders have at least a bachelor’s degree and no less than 81% said they were financially comfortable before starting their business.

This number should raise even further conversation on the diversity issue: how can entrepreneurship be made more reachable for the lower socio-economic classes? 


Conscious movement is happening, though

The report shows that the decision-making processes is not lead solely by money.

According to the SOET survey, 80% of venture capitalists assess the societal or environmental impact of their portfolio companies.

12% of all capital, as in $4,4B, was invested in purpose-driven companies. Last year the equivalent numbers were $1,9B and 6%, so major change is happening. 

It seems European tech scene is filled with thriving nearly-middle-aged men, who in growing numbers aim to work with impactful technologies. Good progress, but a long way still ahead. 

Want to know more? Great! Further information in the full report.


Photo: Jussi Hellsten