The UK, Germany, Israel, France and Sweden are, according to the most recent figures available, Europe’s main technology hubs. But, as we’ve said for a long time and as strong defenders of the European technology scene as a whole, great companies can increasingly come from anywhere.
And Belgium is just one of example of this kind of decentralisation trend.
According to our data, Belgian technology (#betech) companies raised €150 million across 41 deals in 2015. While these figures alone don’t say much, when compared to early 2016 data, it shows that the investment pace in the country is increasing rather rapidly.
In the first half of 2016, Belgium-based tech startups have collectively raised 56 rounds of funding worth a combined €106 million.
As the graph above shows, the growth in investments has mostly taken place at the early stage. In H1 2016, 33 of the country’s 56 rounds - or 60% - were smaller than €5 million.
While young companies are being created and getting funded, it’s Belgian scale-ups that account for the majority of the capital being deployed.
The three larger peaks in Belgium’s tech investment landscape were driven by three big deals north of $20 million: Collibra ($23 million, September 2015), Showpad ($50 million, May 2016) and Auro Technologies ($28 million, June 2016).
Although it’s true that Belgium is still far away from the numbers shown by Europe’s main technology ecosystems, there’s no denying that the country’s tech scene is developing rapidly.
While challenges remain - such as eerily sluggish M&A activity so far - a comparison of Belgium versus European countries of similar size shows that its position is improving.