🔥 Europe’s tech sector is on fire
And that's not even me saying that, it's the US press.
👋 Welcome to FWIW by David Tvrdon, your weekly tech, media & audio digest.
In this edition
The state of European tech 2021
2021 Tech Trends Report
Google's Year in Search: 2021
The state of European tech 2021
Each year, Atomico, a European venture capital firm headquartered in London, publishes its ‘state of European tech’ report.
It is established enough that the US press reports on it (I mean, US investors have been looking at Europe more an more in the past few years). There are other VC firms in the world putting out similar reports and they all have some kind of agenda.
There a few big takeaways from the report for me:
The European tech sector is growing fast - total investment will hit more than a $121bn in funding this year, roughly three times the $41bn of capital raised in 2020. It’s the first time European start-ups have raised more than $100bn in a single year.
The top five countries with the most investment remained the same as last year’s reports: UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Netherlands.
London remains the top European hub in terms of capital investment, followed by Berlin, Paris, Stockholm and Amsterdam.
In comparison, US startups raised roughly $240bn as of September 30.
Europe is now home to 321 billion-dollar ‘unicorn’ companies, 98 of which were minted this year, there are also 26 so-called “decacorns” worth $10bn or more, including Klarna, Revolut and Checkout.com.
The UK leads the field with 100 unicorns to its name, and Germany and France make up the top three with 51 and 31, respectively.
A rise in demand from large international investment firms has been a key driver of growth for Europe’s start-ups has been (from companies like Tiger Global, Coatue and SoftBank).
Europe is making gains on the US in early-stage startup - rises in the region made up 33% of all global rounds of up to $5m, US made up 35%.
Purpose-driven startups in Europe are getting more investment than ever before - this is a good thing for the planet, and Europe is setting an example with 11% of overall investment going into this sector.
There are many noteworthy startups, but just to point out one - Sweden’s sustainable battery startup Northvolt topped the chart for the largest deal by European tech companies in 2021 with its $2.75bn in its biggest financing round.
CEE remains underfunded - just 5% of VC funding went to Central and Eastern Europe in 2021. It also shows the resilience of funders from this region as 31% of unicorns from CEE are bootstrapped, compared to 7% in the rest of Europe.
Estonia retains the title of most entrepreneurial country in Europe.
It’s still a male game, female-led startups got the smallest share of capital raised in at least 5 years - 49% of female founders felt that being a woman negatively impacted their chances of raising capital.
Fintech is the fastest growing sector, followed by enterprise software, transportation, food and health.
European pension funds are under-investing in startups - they currently devote just 0.018% of their $3trn in total assets to venture capital, which is far bellow the commitment that many US pension funds make to the sector.
If you want to go deeper I suggest you start with the ‘The state of European tech 2021: 21 things you should know‘ summary of the report by Sifted.eu.
But if you got nowhere to be for the next couple of days, you can dive deep into the report.
The headline reference comes from an article on CNBC.
Speaking of tech trends, The Future Today Institute's published its 14th Annual Tech Trends Report
10 Big Themes for 2022: Decentralization, metaverse, synthetic biology, techlash, space race, work from… (not the office), biological chipsets, news media vs big tech, AI, geoengineering.
🇰🇷 Samsung replaced its CEOs and reorganized the business again. It merged its mobile and consumer electronics businesses into a single unit — the SET division. The other division is the components business. [Qz]
🛑 There was another huge Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage, crippling services used by millions of people. The disruption highlighted the degree to which many of the internet’s most popular services rely on cloud computing infrastructure handled by a very small number of large companies. According to Gartner, 80% of the cloud market is handled by just five companies. Amazon, with a 41% share, is the biggest. [FT]
📲 Apple can maintain its in‑app purchases (IAP) system as the sole source of in-app payments on iOS, a higher court overruled a previous ruling. The company still has to allow developers to communicate outside iOS. [The Verge]
🤳 Senate lawmakers grilled Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram. And that’s it. Nothing new if you are not counting the info, that Instagram might (!) release a chronological feed next year. IMHO, all social networks should have this option. [NYT]
💬 Twitter acquired messaging platform Quill to make DMs suck less. In October, Twitter bought the Sphere messaging app to help make DMs and Communities better. [The Verge]
And also related this news from end of last week: New Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal begins restructuring as two execs step down
🕶️ How Snap is sidestepping the metaverse. An interesting overview of the often overlooked (at least from the point of Europe) social network and its AR ambitions. [Platformer]
🔍 Google's Year in Search: 2021. Just a reminder, the lists are based on search terms that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year. So these aren’t the biggest searches, rather top emerging trends. Still, it’s interesting to look at. Simon Rogers, data editor at the Google News Lab famously said that people are never as honest as with their searches on Google. [Google blog, Year in Search 2021]
🖥️ Benedict Evans published his annual big presentation exploring macro and strategic trends in the tech industry. This year, ‘Three Steps to the Future’. [ben-evans]
🛴 European cities hate e-scooters. They cause clutter and accidents. Still, city officials acknowledge they are a smart way of transportation and people use them a lot. [Wired]
▶️ Media Subscriptions Town Hall. Another International News Media Association (INMA) online event took place and it is worth watching if you are into subscriptions. [INMA]
⚙️ 'TikTok Algo 101'. That’s the name of the document NYT obtained, TikTok confirmed its authenticity and said it is used to explain to non-technical employees how the algorithm works. Likes, comments and playtime are the main factors. The document also makes clear that TikTok has done nothing to sever its ties with its Chinese parent, ByteDance. [NYT]
✅ How news organisations navigate trade-offs around building trust in news. A new report by Reuters Institute. [RISJ]
🤑 Alphabet, Meta and Amazon have doubled their share of ad revenues in past 5 years, industry estimates. Three tech giants control 80-90% of the digital ad market outside of China. [FT]
📉 BuzzFeed became a publicly traded company. Its stock spiked 45% in the first moments of its public debut, before falling to 11% below its initial share price at market close on Monday. Not great. [Axios]
Brian Morrissey has a good overview of why BuzzFeed is historically relevant - the question remains where it goes from here. I cannot remember the last time I thought to myself: wow, that’s amazing what they are doing, I should try it.
1️⃣ Pluralis: a non-partisan investment vehicle for independent media launched
2️⃣ Hybrid work model for newsrooms means more pressure on media managers, more formal rules and we all should increase our use of emojis
3️⃣ 5 publications on AI and journalism publishers need to check out
4️⃣ Three skill sets needed for successful digital news media
5️⃣ How to reach 3.5M readers in a year? Here’s Romania Insider’s story
[ 📬 Get The Fix newsletter delivered to your inbox every week with the latest insights, news, and analysis about the European media market. Sign up here > ]
🎧 Podcasts on Facebook are only available in US and on mobile. [FB]
🎙 NYT Audio app. We got a first look at the new audio app experiment of NYT. [Axios]
Here’s how NYT’s Head of Audio Product & Design described the app, its purpose and the process of its making.
📻 What you learn after 350 hours of Joe Rogan? Alex Paterson, a researcher at Media Matters whose beat as of the past year or so has included listening to Rogan and reporting back on everything he’s hearing. That work culminated in a study: Joe Rogan Wrapped: A year of COVID-19 misinformation, right-wing myths, and anti-trans rhetoric. [The Verge]
⏩ The Podscape podcast launched. It aims to provide a view of the hundreds of companies in the podcast industry. [Sound Profitable]
❓ Poll: What do you think of e-scooters?
🙌 Thanks. I used HandyPolls to create this poll (instructions).
Last poll results: Do you use Twitter? 55% said yes, 25% no, 8% prefer LinkedIn or newsletters, 4% prefer FB.
🙏 And big thanks to Celine Bijleveld who helped me edit this newsletter. You can follow her on Substack here.