One fifth of European tech start-ups could expand their business during the pandemic, according to European Startups, a project aimed at growing Europe’s start-up economy.
The report, which marked the launch of this European Commission-backed project, found companies that provide software and services in healthcare, education, workplace tools and e-commerce are best-placed to find new opportunities in the crisis.
“In just weeks Europe has effectively shut down much of the infrastructure that it has taken for granted for decades,” said Pēteris Zilgalvis, head of the European Commission’s unit for digital innovation.
“This change is both destroying traditional business models and creating new opportunities, often for emerging tech companies.
“Right now we need to identify the opportunities for and correctly understand the threats to European start-ups so that we can create policy and make decisions that help to continue the progress that has been made in recent years to create a healthy, ambitious tech sector across the EU-27.”
Across the European Union a strong and ambitious tech sector has thrived in recent years.
Over 100 venture backed companies have reached a $1bn (£0.9bn) valuation and founders have global ambitions.
In 2019, European start-ups, including those in the UK, raised €38.8bn in venture capital, up 42.6 per cent on 2018’s €27.2bn.
“The current crisis has affected us all, but I’m confident that the tech sector will not just survive but, eventually, thrive again,” said Avi Meir, founder and chief executive of TravelPerk.
“The European tech ecosystem was in a good place right up to the start of March, with companies raising money and hiring in droves.
“The crisis is exposing many areas where tech-driven solutions could help people, society and business.
“In time we will be able to get back to business and will make even faster progress than we did before.”
European Startups will create a new platform for macro-level trends and insights to help direct funding decisions, drive discussion and policy making around the current crisis, and the wider ecosystem.