“What’s wrong in Italy? It just moves too slow.”That was the blunt answer of Augusto Marietti during an interview a few years ago. Originally from Rome, Augusto is the CEO and co-founder of Kong (formerly known as Mashape), who just closed a $18 million round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Europe is home to approximately 4,200 fast growing, high-tech companies that we refer to as “scaleups”. This distinction serves to separate this group from startups, i.e. to draw a line between early stage initiatives and real companies that are producing revenue and employment. If the count is restricted to only countries who are current members of the European Union, the number of scaleups goes down to 3,950 and the capital raised to $56B.
This SEP Monitor is a follow up to “Portugal Rising”, a report we published at the end of 2015, it gives an updated view of the ecosystem a year and a half down the line, and we are happy to
say the positive momentum has continued for Portugal. The scaleup scene in Portugal is extremely promising and gives hope to Southern Europe lagging scale-up ecosystems.
The European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) says Finland is the best place for companies to find risk capital. Our recent research confirms that evidence. In Finland, we tracked 126 scaleups able to raise cumulatively $1B total in financing.
“Norway has been a bit of an underdog in the Scandiwegian startup scene for a few years. But in just a few short years has gone from been a pretty bleak affair to being a real – if nascent – startup ecosystem”. This is what Haje Jan Kamps wrote on TechCrunch last June1.
Denmark seems to have cemented its position at or near the top of every global quality-of-life survey. Take a look around, and it’s not hard to see why.
Our recent research confirms that the Nordic countries are without any doubts an innovation powerhouse in Europe.
The problem we have in Europe is, as indicated in the Startup Manifesto, that “Continental Europe currently does not create new business destined for growth as well as other parts of the world, Silicon Valley in particular”. High Tech giants do not live in Europe and, even when born here, they grow elsewhere.
Our recent research confirms that the Nordic countries are without a doubt an innovation powerhouse in Europe. In the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), 430 scaleups have been able to cumulatively secure over $6.5B in investments. That places the Nordics at a similar level of investment as Germany.