Business

Tech totally dominates Europe’s 1,000 fastest-growing businesses

By Oliver Smith 18 April 2017
Image: Getty/ExFlow.
Summary

And London leads the pack.

Nearly 20% of Europe’s 1,000 fastest-growing companies are today from the tech sector, with names like RateSetter, iZettle and Smarkets leading the way.

HelloFresh, named Europe’s fastest-growing company, saw its revenues jump by over 13,000% between 2012 and 2015 when the data was collected.

London emerged as the most popular home for these fast-growing businesses, according to data collected by the FT and Statista, with 78 of the companies based in Britain’s capital compared to 45 in Paris.

Read more: London is Europe’s booming billion dollar fintech capital

Most of the companies on the list are younger businesses, in the early fast-growing phase, with the average firm on the list only being formed in 2004.

Deeper dive

The FT’s data isn’t perfect however, of the fastest-growing firms 182 are defined as ‘technology’ (18.2%) but that definition doesn’t stretch to businesses you’d know as tech.

Companies like HelloFresh, FarFetch and Spotify are classed as ‘food’, ‘fashion’ and ‘media’ respectively.

Similarly ‘financial technology’ is a category, but only includes 15 companies like iZettle, RateSetter and Trustly, with many other firms like Ebury being classed separately as ‘financial services’ and muddling the figures.

Finally the FT’s data only covers 2012 to 2015, a time when growth and excitement around Europe’s tech sector was exceptionally strong.

We’ve called 2016 a tipping point as much of the investment growth in tech slowed in the face of Brexit, stock market slowdowns and skills shortages.

It’s great to see how well London and the tech sector did between 2012 and 2015, but it’s questionable whether that data has much relation to the situation we find ourselves in today.