Following the success of last year’s inaugural State of European Tech report, Atomico has teamed up with Slush once again to produce an in-depth look at what’s going on in the European tech ecosystem.

We set out to establish a clear picture of how Europe's ecosystem has evolved in 2016, and where we need to do more to better support our entrepreneurs and tech talent. With thanks to this year’s data partners – LinkedIn, Meetup, Stack Overflow, Dealroom.co, and the London Stock Exchange amongst others – we’ve identified three major trends underlying the growing influence and success of the
European technology industry.

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By Mattias Ljungman

I want to start by making a prediction: I believe that in the next 10 years we will see a $100B company with technology at its core emerge from Europe.

Back in 2006 when we started Atomico, investors thought we were nuts when I said we wanted to find and back Europe’s next billion dollar company. Fast forward to today and Europe has dozens of billion dollar companies, and now we even have two ten billion dollar companies in Supercell and Zalando. These are not outliers, they’re a taste of things to come.

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10.07.2016

AI being a discipline that has come of age emphatically in the last few years, significant European acquisitions like DeepMind, Swiftkey and, last week, Magic Pony, make a strong case that the region is at the vanguard of the current revolution.

To discuss how we can continue to build upon this momentum and support the European AI startup ecosystem, earlier this week we gathered a small group of visionary European entrepreneurs, academics and investors for a discussion.

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By The Atomico Team

Let's face it: Brexit was not the result we wanted. And while there is much still to be worked out — like how long the divorce will take, what rules will govern cross-border trade and immigration, how long the markets will take to settle down, and whether other countries may follow — what is certain is that the British people have spoken, and the British government will carry out the will of the people.

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Like successful companies, successful ecosystems go through distinct stages. Having conducted one of the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken into European tech, it is clear to us that 2015 has been a breakthrough year in which our major hubs have gone to a new level.

View our report in full:

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This is the best time in history to be a technology entrepreneur in Europe, or indeed outside Silicon Valley.

Over the past decade, the start-up world has undergone huge change. As data we published last year showed, the majority of billion-dollar internet companies founded since 2003 were actually built outside the Valley. For me personally, the journey has been eye-opening – from the early days at Skype, when most people dismissed the idea of building a company from Sweden, to today, when Atomico is proud to be an investor in Supercell, Truecaller, Klarna, ZocDoc and other successful companies that started life in places like Helsinki, Stockholm, New York, London and elsewhere.

How has a change this dramatic been possible in such a short time?

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We’ve always believed that great companies can come from anywhere. In October 2014 we launched a first-of-its-kind analysis illustrating the international distribution of software companies that have reached a valuation of $1 billion.

Contrary to popular perception, over the past ten years the majority of billion-dollar software companies were actually founded outside Silicon Valley. In the first update to our research, published today, we see that the rest of the world is continuing to outpace the Valley.

This time, we’ve also looked at the leadership it takes to reach the billion-dollar milestone. New metrics reveal ‘founder CEOs’ are far more likely than ‘professional CEOs’ to lead a business to this level of valuation.

As we studied new entrants to the list and analysed the leadership of all 156 companies meeting the mark, some surprising trends emerged:

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We have always believed that great companies and entrepreneurs can come from anywhere. Like athletes and artists, the qualities needed to be a world-class entrepreneur – vision, courage, technical knowhow, the ability to build a great team, and a deep competitive streak – are not confined to any one country. And the spread of the Internet, open source software and cloud computing over the past decade has removed many of the traditional barriers to starting a technology business.

That said, there are still many who believe that the majority of truly successful companies come from Silicon Valley alone, and that the other emerging ecosystems are still reaching maturity.

Given the speed of technological change and the number of entrepreneurs founding companies around the world, it can be hard to get an accurate picture of what’s going on. So we combined data from multiple sources along with our own research, and for the first time looked at the global distribution of Internet and software companies founded within the last decade that had reached a valuation of over $1 billion. Valuation isn’t everything and is in many senses a crude yardstick, but the billion-dollar mark is generally accepted to represent truly phenomenal success.

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14.03.2011

The Social Network, the movie about the creation of Facebook, has won awards around the world. In the UK’s The Sunday Telegraph newspaper Niklas gave his views on the film, and the reasons why entrepreneurs should watch it.

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The Wall Street Journal’s Venture Capital Dispatch blog has produced an account of Niklas’s talk at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, which you can see here.

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