The European region is a dynamic landscape that continues to evolve year after year. While the overall number of startup economies in the global top 1,000 has slightly decreased compared to the previous year, positive developments can be observed in certain countries and cities within the region. In this article, we will explore the momentum of European startup ecosystems, highlighting the countries experiencing significant improvements or declines in their rankings. Additionally, we will delve into the city rankings and discuss the varied representation of countries within the top 10, emphasizing the decentralization of the startup scene in Germany and Spain.
Top 20 Europe Startup Ecosystems
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City Rankings and Tiers
The United Kingdom, particularly its capital city London, continues to dominate the European startup ecosystem, firmly establishing itself as the strongest representative in both country and city rankings worldwide. Sweden, France, Germany, and the Netherlands join the UK in the regional top 5 at the country level, mirroring the rankings from the previous year. However, Kosovo has been displaced from the global top 100, making way for Uganda’s entry.
When examining the city rankings, four tiers emerge, highlighting the varying degrees of success across European startup ecosystems. London stands alone in the first tier, with a considerable lead over all other European cities. Paris and Berlin form the second tier, maintaining a substantial gap from Stockholm and Amsterdam, which constitute the third tier. Finally, the fourth tier encompasses Moscow, Munich, Barcelona, and Helsinki.
Noteworthy Growth and Decline
Western European cities predominantly dominate the European top 20, with Moscow being the first Eastern European city to break into the rankings, standing at sixth in the region and 30th globally. Paris has further strengthened its position in the global top 10, now ranked ninth and surpassing Tel Aviv.
Remarkable growth can be observed in Istanbul, which climbed 13 spots to secure the 53rd position globally. Lisbon, too, experienced significant progress, ascending 21 spots and achieving a global ranking of 62nd in 2023.
However, not all cities have sustained positive momentum. Barcelona slipped three positions to rank 40th globally, while Dublin and Copenhagen experienced declines of five and four spots, respectively, ranking 51st and 57th worldwide. These shifts underline the competitive nature of the startup landscape and the need for continuous adaptation and innovation to thrive.
Startups from European Startup Ecosystems
ResearchGate is where you discover scientific knowledge and share your work.
Deezer is an digital music streaming service.
Picnic is an online supermarket that delivers low-priced groceries to people’s home without delivery costs.
Instabox is a delivery service available to select online partners where packages are delivered to smart box locations 7 days a week.
Fresha is a SaaS-enabled marketplace platform for beauty and wellness industry.
Swappie is a end-to-end online marketplace for buying and selling refurbished smartphones.
Scoro is a business management platform helping professional service companies manage their work more efficiently. It combines project management, CRM, billing, and reporting – all in one place.
Seedtag is the In-Image platform in Europe, allowing both publishers and advertisers to get the most out of images.
Itsme is a secure mobile phone app that lets users log in safely to confirm their personal ID and share data during digital interactions.
TourRadar is an online marketplace to compare and book multi-day tours to over 200 countries worldwide.
Unicorns from European Startup Ecosystems
Unicorns are startups that reach a valuation of one billion dollars or above. Below are some of the European unicorns from the StartupBlink database. You can view the full list with StartupBlink Pro.
Klarna is a global tech bank on a mission to make payments and shopping as smooth as possible.
FlixMobility is a unique combination of tech-startup, e-commerce platform, and transportation company.
BlaBlaCar connects drivers with empty seats to passengers traveling the same way.
Mollie facilitates companies of all sizes to scale and grow by using different payment methods.
Qonto makes business banking easy, efficient and transparent, leveraging technology, elegant design and world-class customer support.
SonarSource’s industry leading solution enables developers and development teams to write clean code and remediate existing code organically, so they can focus on the work they love and maximize the value they generate for businesses.
Oura is a wellness ring and app used for sleep improvement and performance.
Bolt is an Estonian ride-hailing app. Leading transportation platform in 150 cities in Europe and Africa – cars, electric scooters and food delivery.
MessageBird is a cloud communications platform offering a suite of Cloud Communications APIs that enable developers and enterprises to communicate with customers all over the world.
Cabify is a marketplace for personal transportation. Today, it allows consumers and corporations to be picked up by a black-car (limo) processing real time requests or through advance reservations.
Exits from European Startup Ecosystems
Exit for a startup occurs when the founder sells the company’s ownership to an investor or another company. It is a strategy for many startups that have been decided on since their establishment. Here are some of the European startups with massive exits. You can view the full list with StartupBlink Pro.
Transfer money or spend abroad 6x cheaper than old-school banks, and receive money around the world for free.
Shazam is one of the most popular apps of all time, downloaded over a billion times and used by hundreds of millions of people each month to connect to the world around them.
Spotify is a commercial music streaming service that provides restricted digital content from a range of record labels and artists.
4. Delivery Hero
Delivery Hero is a network of online food ordering sites with over 100 restaurant partners worldwide.
Adyen offers a platform that integrates gateway, risk management, processing, acquiring, and settlement of payments.
Wolt is a food payment and delivery service.
Sportradar AG is a multinational corporation with headquarters in St. Gallen, Switzerland, that collects and analyzes sports data.
Pipedrive is a CRM-replacing deal management tool. It is built for active deal makers, not only salespeople.
Letgo is a marketplace revolution: it is mobile, easy-to-use and local. Our goal is to make selling and buying from people nearby a breeze!
Lhyfe is a developer, investor, and supplier of 100% green hydrogen for mobility and industry.
Pantheon Members from European Startup Ecosystems
The StartupBlink Pantheon members are a selected group of special startup related entities with a substantial footprint on the global startup ecosystem. Here are some of Europe’s pantheon members. You can view the full list of startup pantheon members with StartupBlink Pro.
Revolut is building a 21st century banking alternative designed for your global lifestyle. It’s like having a local bank account wherever you are.
SoundCloud is a music and podcast streaming platform that lets you listen to millions of songs from around the world, or upload your own. Start listening now!
Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe with branch offices abroad.
Booking.com is a travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine for lodging reservations.
Novartis International AG is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland.
Glovo is a Barcelona-based startup and the fastest-growing delivery player in Europe, Western Asia, and Africa.
Statista aims to empower people worldwide to make better and faster fact-based business decisions by providing a simple-to-use and affordable global business-data platform.
8. The Next Web
TNW is a global digital brand that informs, inspires and connects people who love tech through media, events and services.
Skyscanner is a flight search engine which allows users to compare various airlines in one platform.
Telefonica, S.A. is a Spanish multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Madrid, Spain.
The European startup ecosystem remains a vibrant and diverse landscape, characterized by both positive momentum and unique varieties across countries and cities. While some nations have experienced notable improvements in their rankings, others have faced setbacks. London continues to stand as the pinnacle of European startup success, with other major cities like Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm making their mark. The regional top 10 reflects the decentralized nature of startup scenes in Germany and Spain, emphasizing the multiple hotspots of entrepreneurial activity within these countries. As we move forward, monitoring these trends and fostering collaboration will be crucial for further propelling the growth and success of European startup ecosystems.
StartupBlink is the world’s most comprehensive startup ecosystem map and research center, working with over 100 government entities worldwide. StartupBlink’s global startup ecosystem map has tens of thousands of registered startups, coworking spaces, and accelerators, creating a robust sample of innovation globally.