State of European Tech Report Highlights that Tech is the Engine of European Growth

November.21.2019

Also available: auf Deutsch

The 2019 “State of European Tech Report,” released today, makes clear that tech continues to drive the European economy. The annual report, prepared by global venture capital firm Atomico in partnership with Orrick and Slush, reveals that Europe is set to receive more than $30 billion in tech investments this year. This includes more than 50 $100M+ deals so far this year – more than ever before. North American venture capital funds poured almost $10 billion into Europe this year, up from $5.8 billion in 2018, while Asian funds invested $4 billion, up from $1.7 billion. Fintech and enterprise software companies have been the major beneficiaries of capital over the last five years, and AI companies received almost $5 billion in 2019.

The report was unveiled at the annual Slush conference in Helsinki. To sustain this success in Europe, the report points to four key findings:

  • The European Commission needs to clarify its regulatory priorities. Technology advancement continues to outpace regulation. Yet 40% of survey respondents reported that they don’t feel sufficiently informed to comment about the European Commission’s tech and digital regulatory priorities. They’re also calling for more simplified and streamlined compliance requirements.
  • Attitudes are changing about the value of inclusion; investment needs to follow. Inclusion continues to be a challenge for the sector with only 8% of funding going to companies led by mixed-gender and women-led teams. However, there is strong agreement in the European tech and VC community that creating a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem is necessary.
  • Sustainability is top of mind – but there’s room for greater focus. More than 85% of founders say they care about the social and environmental impact of their companies – and investors are backing that commitment. We’d like to see even greater focus on social impact.
  • As a community, we need to look out for mental health and career sustainability. Almost 20% of founders say that launching a company has had a “mostly negative” impact on their mental health. Founder wellness is an important factor in the overall health of the ecosystem.

We’re incredibly grateful to Atomico for collecting and sharing the rich market insights in this report. At Orrick, we look forward to continuing our work with the European tech community to build an even stronger European platform. Over the past 15 quarters, we’ve advised on more venture capital deals in Europe than any other law firm – by a factor of 2.5.

“All signs point to the clear fact that the technology ecosystem is the highest growth engine for Europe – with more successful, well-funded private tech companies than ever before and a far shorter runway to such companies achieving unicorn status,” said Chris Grew, head of Orrick's London Tech Companies team. “At the same time, technology advancement continues to outpace regulation – and we must collaborate to address that – both as a business and social matter.”

The Slush conference convenes tech leaders from around the world. In addition to Chris, Orrick will be represented at the conference by partner Shawn Atkinson from London and Managing Director of Tech Clients Neel Lilani.