Tech is thriving as a major industry, and as a result tech hubs are growing, evolving, and emerging as the demand grows for more digital solutions. In the EU, this year sees London, Paris, and Berlin – the German capital knocking Dublin out of the top spot for the first time – being in pole position in 2022.
The list is based not only on the number of tech companies already operating in each city, but also on factors that impact a company's ability for growth, access to skilled workers and the work-life balance of its employees. Factors such as market composition, salary levels, quality of life and the top employers already operating in each city are considered. The access companies have to funding and an existing and already thriving tech scene is also taken into account.
It’s worth noting that while the current top three are located in Western Europe, research shows that cities in Eastern Europe such as Sofia, Prague, Bulgaria, and Budapest are gaining ground. They remain an exciting option for tech companies looking to headquarter in progressive locations, with affordable salaries and rent and access to a talent depth pool of almost 150,000 workers.
Another location worth keeping a close eye on is Tel Aviv in Israel, which last year saw its tech companies raise $125.6 billion, more than twice that of the previous year. So while these up-and-coming tech hubs are a viable option for startups and VCs looking to expand, they’re also an interesting proposition for those working in the wider tech space, cloud sector or looking to find a cheaper cost of living in a city with real career prospects.
Explore open job opportunities across Europe via the Tech.EU job board.
London remains the top tech hub in Europe, with tech companies based in the city raising $18.4 billion in 2021. This is more than double the amount raised by Berlin-based companies, so will give context to the sheer size and potential within the London tech scene. Add to this the fact that in 2021 London added another 20 unicorns to its ranks.
These include e-commerce site Depop, Fintech company GoCardless and insurance disruptor Marshmallow, bringing the number of tech companies operating in London to over 19,000. Heavy hitters operating from the capital include EE, Facebook, Amazon, and Cisco. London also punches above its weight in the Fintech sector, holding over 10% of the global market share.
While the UK boasts a skilled workforce, there can be no disputing that Brexit and the high cost of living in the city have made London a little less attractive to workers than before. However, this change has not been echoed by investors looking to find the best opportunities. In fact, as well as being the top tech hub in the EU, London has also been named the second best city for tech startups in the world. The Global Startup Ecosystem report stated that London was ranked amongst the highest cities for access to early-stage funding and its “connectedness”, the ability for a startup to increase its global reach. Interested in working here? You can check out tech jobs in London here.
A lower cost of living paired with a deep talent base has made Berlin one of the world’s most attractive tech hubs – and it has been ranked as the second-best tech hub in Europe. And it is the number one choice for startups, with the city beating London thanks to its startup infrastructure, talent base, and vibrant community.
Berlin has also been ranked as one of the world’s top five best locations for Fintech, with unicorn startups N26, Trade Republic and WeFox all currently located in the city and so far raising $850 million in 2022 alone. For those who would like to delve deeper, you can explore some of the roles currently hiring in the city here.
The French capital held on to its spot in the top three this year, thanks in no small part to President Macron’s tech-friendly initiatives and incentives and the fact that it’s home to the world’s largest startup campus, Station F.
Paris also remains attractive to the sector due to its skilled workforce, which was ranked number one in the EU for the number of its scientists and engineers and researchers in science and technology, which is higher than anywhere else. You can discover all open roles in the city here.
There are currently 12,000 tech companies operating in Paris and last year they raised $6.5bn (€6.2bn) – a figure topped in Europe only by London and Berlin. Heavy hitters currently operating in Paris include Criteo and Talend, while Fintech and biotech are the city’s largest employers.
In fact, the first three weeks of 2022 saw Paris add an additional three unicorns to its roster of 27. It’s a number that President Macron hopes to increase to 100 by 2030 as part of the country’s tech development plans, showing that when it comes to tech, Paris is in it for the long haul.