State of European Tech 2018: Record year for start-ups

Europe’s tech start-up scene is giving Silicon Valley a run for its money.

Europe is home to more than twice as many tech initial public offerings (IPOs) as the U.S. so far this year, while newly-listed European companies are outperforming their American counterparts, according to a report by venture capital firm Atomico.

The research, released Tuesday at the Slush tech conference in Helsinki, Finland, suggests investors could reap big returns from Europe’s technology start-ups. Citing data from the London Stock Exchange, it found 69 tech companies have gone public in Europe so far this year, compared to 28 in the U.S.

European tech companies that went public in 2018 saw their share price increase by an average of 222 percent. By contrast, U.S. tech IPOs had average gains of 42 percent.

“This year has been an incredible year for the European tech ecosystem,” Tom Wehmeier, partner and head of research at Atomico who authored the report, told CNBC.

The fourth annual report surveyed 5,000 respondents across Europe. It said one reason the continent outpaces the U.S. in the tech IPO market is that European exchanges are more supportive of smaller companies that want to go public. Sixty-two out of Europe’s 69 tech IPOs had a market cap below $1 billion.