Report Confirms Europe’s Growing Influence in the Global Tech Ecosystem

November.30.2017

The 2017 “State of European Tech Report,” released today, predicts that Europe is set to receive a record $19 billion in tech investments this year. The report, prepared by Atomico and Slush and co-sponsored by Orrick and Silicon Valley Bank, is the latest evidence of Europe’s growing influence in the global tech ecosystem.

Unveiled today at the annual Slush conference in Helsinki, Finland, the report outlines five key trends based on a data-driven analysis conducted by leading venture capital firm Atomico. The report can be found here. All five trends point to the growing influence of the European technology industry:

  1. A healthy landscape built on strong foundations.
    It is another record year for Europe with just over $19bn invested, up from $14.4bn in 2016. It is also a record year for $50m+ rounds – on track for more than 50 in 2017, significantly higher than the previous all-time high of 43 in 2015. These are happening not just in the traditional UK and German markets, but also in markets such as the Netherlands, Spain, Finland and Slovenia.
  2. Deep tech continues to thrive in Europe.
    In 2017, Europe is on track for a record $3.5bn to be invested in deep tech, a 40% increase on 2016. Europe has also positioned itself front and center in the explosion of activity in the crypto/blockchain economy. There are more blockchain development projects and more teams using the new ICO model to raise capital in Europe than in any other region worldwide.
  3. Regulation is emerging as an opportunity for competitive advantage.
    There is broad agreement across Europe’s tech community that regulatory changes to incentivize the development of AI, blockchain and autonomous vehicles should be prioritized.
  4. Europe is taking a uniquely collaborative approach to working with traditional industry.
    In 2017, there were 637 funding rounds involving at least one corporate investor, a 600% increase versus 2012; and about 20% of all venture funding in Europe now comes from corporates.
  5. A ‘Battle Royale’ for tech talent.
    Professional developer numbers have increased across the continent to 5.5m. The UK remains the number one destination for tech talent migrating into – and within – Europe but appears to have lost share to other European destinations such as Germany and France.

Orrick is at the forefront of these trends, having advised on more European venture capital investments and more M&A exits globally than any other law firm this year. 

“This edition of the State of European Tech Report confirms that Europe has arrived as a power broker in the global technology ecosystem,” said Chris Grew, a London-based partner in our Technology Companies Group. “Three takeaways stand out most for us from a legal perspective: the continued strong appetite for investment; the emerging view of Silicon Valley and the U.S. as a target for growth and investment, not just as an exit; and the opportunities for competitive advantage through compliance strategies across the complicated EU market. We hope that European regulators will heed the report’s call to action for proactive innovation policies in areas such as drones, autonomous vehicles and cryptocurrencies.”

The Slush conference attracts a who’s who of tech industry figures. Among others, former Vice President Al Gore will be a featured speaker at the conference. Orrick partner Charles Adams, former U.S. Ambassador to Finland, is attending the conference along with partners Chris Grew, Shawn Atkinson and Douglas Lahnborg.