Amid the recent chaos in the startup scene, some exciting, positive trends seem stable in 2023. Keep reading to find out which regions outside Silicon Valley are trending, which tech startup sectors profit most from AI, and how startups can estimate their success via a platform.
Northern Europe, emerging startup heaven?
You might know that Spotify and Klarna are Swedish companies, but did you know that Stockholm is the city with more startups per capita than anywhere outside Silicon Valley? The digital music service and the fintech company are just two examples of some of the fastest-growing startups in the world—located in Northern Europe.
Nordic countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland have recently experienced a startup boom due to their strong welfare system, high education levels, and innovative business practices. Also, their knack for spotting trends immediately is crucial for the success of emerging businesses, and digitalization has been adopted in each sector of society early on.
This results in an environment where startups are flourishing and startup hubs blooming: Stockholm, Helsinki, and Copenhagen are attracting startups in industries such as fintech, cleantech, and healthtech.
Global thinking, innovation, and risk-taking are the characteristics of startups in this area. The area's key venture capital firms include Northzone, Creandum, and EQT Ventures, which have also invested in Spotify and Klarna. With their dynamic aptitude, leading investors, and a good nose for trends, experts believe that the tech startup boom in Northern Europe will continue beyond 2023.
Sun, sea, and startups: Southern Europe enters the game
Not only in Northern Europe the startup scene is blooming—in the south, merging startup hubs like Barcelona, Málaga, and Lisbon are attracting techies and investment. Rumor has it that these regions find it easy to attract talent because of their geographic location …
With already six unicorns including Glovo and Travelgo, the Barcelona region lists 15 companies primed for unicorn status as it stands. Events like 4YFN and the EU-Startups Summit connect startups, incubators, and investors to launch new business ventures. Málaga is also a buzzing startup hotspot, producing exciting startups across a multitude of verticals.
Thanks to an ecosystem of public policies that strives to support entrepreneurs and spaces such as the Málaga TechPark, the tech startup scene in the south of Spain can expand with flying colors.
Still in its infancy, the startup magnet Lisbon is becoming one of the fastest-growing tech ecosystems. Since 2016, investment in the startup scene in Portugal's capital has increased 30 % annually, twice the European average.
In the end, it's all about data
Recently, there hasn't been a single day without news about Open AI's ChatGPT. Its explosive growth has demonstrated AI's huge role in research, content development, marketing, and other business initiatives—it doesn't come as a surprise that market valuation is expected to exceed $1.5 trillion by 2030.
AI is also essential for one of the fastest-growing startup sectors: cleantech. With the global climate discussion reaching its next level due to the exploding energy costs, cleantech or climate tech startups are receiving more funding than ever before: 13% of all European venture funding went to cleantech or climate tech startups in 2022.
The rapid growth of AI demands greater capacities for data storage and retrieval. Thus, democratizing access to data analytics has become a major focus in the startup world. Among the fastest-growing startups are those offering cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the field of all-flash drive data storage systems.
As you can see, there is great potential in this scene. Startups such as Vesttoo—AI-powered technology for data science, insurance, and finance—are demonstrating how to attract investment through the combination of the latest trends and technologies: The Tel Aviv-based startup has pursued $101 million of funding, enabling rapid global expansion with professionals in New York, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Dubai, and Tokyo.
Top or flop: Predicting startup success
Talking about AI … Of course, there is already an AI-based tool that predicts a startup's success. Its ability to process large amounts of data and to identify patterns allows the VC Exit Predictor to generate information: It indicates the likelihood that a venture capital-backed company will be acquired, go public or not exit due to becoming self-sustaining or experiencing any event that prevents success. Maybe SVB should have kept an eye on that. ;)
So, let's recap: Northern Europe and AI came to the startup scene to stay. Global issues such as climate change and the democratization of data are finding their way into the scope of investors worldwide. That's not only good news for the environment and civilians, but also for tech startups striving to do their bit for a better planet.
Supporting cleantech startups in reaching their business goals and making them future-ready does our heart good: One of our recent projects included brand enhancement and web design for Andluca, a company developing smart windows for more sustainable buildings. Currently, we're happy to be working on the branding and website for a cleantech startup that is using AI to improve the performance of wind and solar assets. Stay tuned to see inspiring results soon.