For a technology ecosystem to thrive it requires three key elements: excellent entrepreneurs, talented teams, and substantial investment. Over the past decade, Europe has not only experienced an influx of entrepreneurs, but also an emerging hyper-talented tech generation – from Skype, Lastminute.com, and Spotify to Supercell and Zalando, Europe has seen its fair share of super successful tech brands. And investment has followed a similar path. Around 40% of successful entrepreneurs go on to funding the next generation of tech founders. Angel investment grew by around 20% in 2015 alone and there are now well over 100 significant startup accelerators alongside an explosion of early-stage investors like Mosaic Ventures, Firstminute Capital, Cherry Ventures and LocalGlobe.
The Talent is Growing Denser
Europe’s investment ecosystem has developed exponentially with London, Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm as leaders, and although those cities are the investment hubs, entrepreneurship is igniting the continent. The cluster of talent and expertise is rapidly expanding.
And yet, Europe only has one US$100 billion tech company – SAP
Perhaps this absence can be blamed on the funding gap between the US and Europe. According to Wired, the US raises as much as 5.3 times more than Europe, and fast-scaling startups in Europe are scuppered by this. Luckily the investment landscape is predicted to change this coming year and a new breed of super-investor is coming to the party. Companies from the US like Alphabet and Gradient Ventures are taking a tentative but very steady approach to investing in Europe and Chinese giants Alibaba and Tencent are taking the European market by storm, as is Japan’s SoftBank, led by Masayoshi Son who is famous for his intrepid investments and 300-year plan.
Exciting Times Ahead for Europe
The swelling European technology ecosystem is expected to bring entrepreneur-investors like Masayoshi Son, Jack Ma, and Larry Page to the continent in search of bold startups in the business of tackling biggest challenges in the world. And there are an increasing amount of European companies that fit this description. Exciting times are predicted for Europe, and part of that could well be that US$100 billion tech company. Who knows, it may even be part of Son’s triple century plan.