Europe's Tech Sector Creates 30 $1 Billion-plus Businesses Since 2003

Europe’s Tech Sector Creates 30 $1 Billion-plus Businesses Since 2003

Europe has produced 30 technology companies worth more than $1 billion (£590m) since the millennium, according to research that explodes the myth that the region's internet entrepreneurs lack vision and sell up too early; The Guardian reports.

Clothing retailer Asos, games studio King Digital, property portal Zoopla and music service Spotify are among the select group of Europe's most valuable technology companies, most of which remain independent.

The research, conducted by boutique investment bank GP Bullhound, shows Europe compares well to the US, which produced $39 billion companies between 2003 and 2013.

These valuable startups, which the researchers refer to as "unicorns", are few and far between. Statistically, it is very hard to find one, and the 30 produced in Europe account for just 0.27% of comparable tech firms founded in the last 14 years..

"Europe is much more adept at creating billion-dollar tech companies than most experts expected. The fact that it is in touching distance of the US demonstrates how both the ambition levels and ecosystem have progressed to allow entrepreneurs to scale global businesses," said GP Bullhound co-founder Manish Madhvani.

The UK, with its big domestic market, love of online shopping and high level of internet and smartphone adoption, has been most successful in creating technology millionaires – since January 2000, the country has produced 11 unicorns. Among these are recently listed appliances retailer AO World and takeaway service Just Eat.