Tag Archives: Europe

European Digital City Index 2015

European Digital City Index 2015The European Digital City Index 2015 describes how well different cities across Europe support digital entrepreneurs. The aim of in the index is to support digital entrepreneurship across Europe and for policy makers, the index provides a tool to benchmark cities and decide where they may need to devote more resources.

The EDCI is a composite index based on the following factors:

  • Access to capital
  • Business environment
  • Digital environment
  • Skills
  • Entrepeneurial culture
  • Knowledge spillovers
  • Lifestyle
  • Market
  • Mentoring & managerial assistance
  • Non-digital infrastructure

The data for the European Digital City Index stems from among others Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).

It should be no surprise that access to capital is by far the best in London, followed by Paris and basically all the others are really small compared to these.

Mapping to other indexes

First of all it is interesting to compare this map to the Global Startup Map. The number 1, London, in the EDCI has tentimes the number of startups in the global startup map compared to the number 2, Amsterdam.

The European Digital City Index maps really well to the Digital Evolution Index (DEI). However we should note that the DEI is not as optimistic about the growth of the digital capabilities of most of the countries where the top-10 cities are located.

Support doesn’t equal results

The European Digital City Index looks at support of digital entrepreneurs in Europe. This doesn’t equal results! If we look at global list of unicorns (in short billion dollar startups) both compiled by WSJ and TechCrunch results differ. There is just one unicorn in Amsterdam (Adyen), the number 2 on the EDCI, where both Berlin (number 7) and Stockholm (number3) have more.

Finding billion dollar startups in Europe

The WSJ billion dollar startup club

The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones VentureSource are tracking venture-backed private companies valued at $1 billion or more. This group of companies is called the billion dollar club.

The infographic created by the WSJ can be used to track how the membership of this club evolves and what the valuation of these companies individual and as a group is. In line with the findings in the Digital Evolution Index there is a limited number of European companies in the club and their number and valuation aren’t growing as fast as Asia and USA ones.

In January 2014 only 2 of the 42 companies in the billion dollar club are from Europe. In September 2015 just 10 of the 118 are European based companies. Here is the list of billion dollar startups in Europe:

  • Spotify
  • Global Fashion Group
  • Delivery Hero
  • Powa
  • Adyen – Read: The unicorn of Amsterdam
  • BlaBlaCar
  • Klarna
  • Home24
  • Shazam
  • Farfetch
  • Funding Circle

Rocket Internet and Zalando exited the list in October 2014 because of their IPOs. All are located in the countries with the best internet infrastructure: United Kingdom (London), Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.

The TechCrunch billion dollar startup club

Besides WSJ and Dow Jones VentureSource TechCrunch also curates a list of Unicorns. A Unicorn being a private company with a post-money valuations of $1 billion or more. The TechCrunch Unicorn Leaderboard features one European company that isn’t listed at the WSJ’s list: Auto1 Group from Berlin, Germany.

The picture in both leader boards is the same: there is a relative low number of billion dollar European startups. It is the same in the emerging Unicorns list.

Does Europe fall behind?

Looking at both the WSJ and TechCrunch list of unicorns and the findings in the Digital Evolution Index it certainly looks like Europe is falling behind. If the EU wouldn’t agree why would they have bothered to start a digital agenda (a Europe 2020 initiative)?

Thomas Petersen has written Why is Europe failing to create more unicorns? Mainly stating that there is no true single European market, the EU doesn’t make it better for entrepreneurs (yet worse because of legislation and political sub optimisations), and there is geolocation where both money and technical knowledge gravitate to.

Besides those, there is a reason that al European unicorns are situated in the countries with the best internet infrastructure. Larger parts of Europe aren’t in that position yet.
Some of the European countries with unicorns are in the stall out group in the DESI index. Meaning that measures should be taken to get their momentum back because they run the risk of falling behind.
Again Europe should work really hard on creating a true single digital European market. Reducing the number of laws and trade barriers is key.